I’ve been reflecting this month on the importance of accountability. This is what my work as an auditor is about, and I am dedicated to it. On April 20th, Derek Chauvin was held accountable for the murder of George Floyd. The verdict might have held Derek Chauvin accountable, but it did not provide justice to George Floyd, Ma’Khia Bryant, Andrew Brown, Robert Delgado, or any of the 181 people estimated to have been killed by police since George Floyd died. Justice comes when both people and institutions recognize the roles they play in reinforcing white supremacy and racism, make amends, and change their policies, behavior and culture. We will know that justice has been achieved when BIPOC, LGBTQI+ and disabled people feel safe, comfortable and welcome in their towns, their cities, and in this nation.
We have a national crisis around policing. This kind of crisis is what can happen when we don’t hold both institutions and individuals accountable for their actions. Government auditors are in a position to call out systemic racism and government, and, in doing so, educate people about what systemic racism is and why it’s so destructive.
While Multnomah County does not oversee the Portland Police Bureau, it does house the Sheriff’s Office, which runs county jails. My team is currently working on an audit of jails. We are also in the second phase of our audit on the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which will focus on contact tracing and cost recovery. I look forward to sharing our reports with you, once they are ready.
Good Government Hotline Activity Report Presented to Board
On April 13, Principal Auditor Marc Rose and I presented the 2020 Good Government Hotline Activity Report to the Board of County Commissioners. The hotline provides Multnomah County employees and community members with a secure, confidential method for reporting suspected fraud, waste, or abuse of position. In 2020, we investigated or incorporated into audit 20 of the 80 county-related reports to the hotline, which at 25% of the reports, is the highest rate since 2016. To learn more, read the 2020 annual report (link to be added) on my website.
To report suspected fraud, waste, or misuse of County resources, call 1-888-289-6839 or go to goodgovhotline.com.
Helpful COVID-19 Links
- How to spot a COVID-19 vaccine scam
- If you would like information on how to stay healthy, slow the spread of coronavirus, or how to report any issues, please visit https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19.
- Unfortunately, some communities have experienced acts of racism and xenophobia because of the myths surrounding COVID-19; this county site has information about how to report discrimination and find support.
- If you are at work and your employer does not seem to be following public health directives, you can report that to Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Division.
- This page contains resources to support our communities as we experience the COVID-19 pandemic and get through this together.
- Learn about guidance for re-opening Multnomah County.
- Learn more about disability rights and COVID-19.