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Auditor plans state intervention in Santa Fe's "in distress" finances

The Roundhouse in Santa Fe
Creative Commons
The Roundhouse in Santa Fe

The state auditor has announced plans for intervention in the finances of New Mexico’s capital city. Auditor Brian Colón said worsening fiscal mismanagement prevented the completion of an audit.

The Auditor's office said in a statement that the City of Santa Fe had failed to take years of concerns over things like the late filing of financial reports seriously. It said the Auditor had to step in to prevent financial problems that could include credit downgrades or noncompliance with federal funding requirements.

Colón said that apparently there are $4-5m in cash which were not reconciled by an agreed-upon deadline, making it impossible to audit the finances overall.

He criticized the city for reckless disregard of financial compliance rules and said Santa Fe taxpayers had a right to know whether their funds were being spent responsibly.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen has resigned as the city's independent auditor for the last fiscal year.

City spokesperson David Herndon said in a statement, quote, “We recognize the gravity of the situation and take the implications of this development very seriously.”

Alice Fordham joined the news team in 2022 after a career as an international correspondent, reporting for NPR from the Middle East and later Latin America and Europe. She also worked as a podcast producer for The Economist among other outlets, and tries to meld a love of sound and storytelling with solid reporting on the community. She grew up in the U.K. and has a small jar of Marmite in her kitchen for emergencies.