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As controversy over the firing of Sarasota County's ethics and compliance officer con- tinues to swirl, and with an active complaint now filed against one county commissioner, could a new inspector general position in the Sarasota County Clerk of Court's Office help restore trust in local government? According to Sarasota Clerk of the Circuit C o u r t a n d C o u n t y Comptroller Karen Rushing, the idea for the inspector general (I.G.) accreditation came after violations of the county's pro- curement and purchasing rules were made public and after citizen outcry over the pro- cess that led to contracts to renovate Ed Smith Stadium. Rushing's office has always had audit authority, but the I.G. certification sets new standards for auditors and investigators and creates a peer review process, with auditors actually auditing the audit process. Rushing's office is w o r k i n g w i t h t h e C o m m i s s i o n f o r Sarasota Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller Karen Rushing. Photo via sarasotaclerk. com GENERALLY SPEAKING COULD A NEW INSPECTOR GENERAL ACCREDITATION BUILD MORE FAITH IN COUNTY GOVERNMENT? I t ' s h a r d f o r a n y b o d y t o legitimately say the people working in that office are not qualified to do fraud investigations. Karen Rushing Clerk of Court and County Comptroller Sarasota County By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor

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