March 13, 2012

For more information, Contact:
Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District
S. Brearcliffe

Depot Plaza Block Forensic Audit Examination Report Release

It is our hope that this first forensic audit examination presented today, and those audits to be presented, will offer a sense of closure to Tucsonans regarding some of their many questions.

It is hoped, that as a result of the dogged determination and dedication of the reconstituted Board, as the forensic audits are released, the community will be offered a sense of closure, transparency and confidence for the future. We look forward to positive, collaborative leadership moving forward.

When the Board and its oversight provisions were reformed by the Arizona Legislature in 2009, the new 2010 Board knew the task would not be easy. As priorities were put together, one stood out. The taxpayers demanded and deserved an honest accounting of key areas of their spent monies. A major District focus has been to ensure transparency, with a belief that City residents had a right to know.

The Depot Plaza Block forensic audit report presented today is the first in a series. It was triggered due to the demand for an additional $1,500,000.00 from what little remains from the Rio Nuevo monies. It has been insisted that the District proceed with funding past projects for which, until now, we did not know if money continued to be actually owed. Outlay of funds not due would have only perpetuated the past methods, whether it was intended or not.

We would like to recognize a number of people: the many citizens who urged us to find out where the money was spent and to rebuild the vision going forward of many downtown projects, the numerous City employees who have helped the District and the investigating agencies, the Southern Arizona legislative delegation and the Governor’s office – who at every step of the way said only one thing: “Do what is right” – and each member of the board, past and present, who have stood behind the efforts of truth and transparency, often while suffering vicious personal attacks. All have a deep dedication to this City and the community.

As servants to the public, we share other City leaders’ desires to create an even more vibrant Tucson core. Despite the past disappointments of historical Rio Nuevo, many great things have happened downtown. The remarkable people of Tucson have built a foundation of small businesses which represent our City’s full heritage. There is much upon which to build. We are a part of this future and look forward to working with the many aspects of the community. Let us continue to focus on a positive, cooperative future with the City and other community stakeholders.

The new era of this District begins with confidence, hope and anticipation of great things to come. This is based on confidence that the actions of this volunteer Board demonstrate we make hard decisions (which are not necessarily popular). This is to preserve the little remaining funds entrusted to the District so that many of the promises which remain viable may now be fulfilled.

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