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North Las Vegas orders audit of More Cops fund

North Las Vegas is hiring an auditor to help clear up questions about how the city has managed more than $34 million in funds it received from a quarter-cent sales tax meant to allow the hiring of more police officers.

The City Council today unanimously approved spending up to $50,000 to hire Kafoury, Armstrong & Company of Las Vegas to perform the audit of the city’s More Cops funds.

Police and other officials recently began questioning whether the city violated the spirit of the original More Cops sales tax, adopted in 2005.

The measure stated that the funds raised could be used only to hire and equip additional police officers in the valley, and could not be used to “replace or supplant existing funding” for police departments.

Some believe the city of North Las Vegas skirted the requirements in February 2008 when it shifted 32 police officers already on the payroll from positions paid for by its general fund and a separate public safety tax fund known as “Safe Streets 2000” to positions funded by More Cops.

Critics said such a move improperly replaces existing funding with More Cops funding.

State, local and police officials called for an independent audit of the use of the funds.

The council chose Kafoury, Armstrong & Company out of a field of three potential firms after a recommendation from Finance Director Phil Stoeckinger, who said the firm has the most related experience.

Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at lcurtis@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0285.

 

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