City Beat

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July 25, 2012
Sacramento councilman: Audit credit card use soon in wake of scandal

City Hall's reaction to the ongoing credit card scandal is picking up speed.

Councilman Steve Cohn, the chair of the council's audit committee, told me today he wants City Manager John Shirey to find a way to push up a planned audit of citywide credit card use.

City Auditor Jorge Oseguera had not planned to launch that audit until September, due to limited staffing (the auditor assigned to the credit card work is finishing up another audit). But Cohn says he wants the audit to start sooner and be finished by September.

"I think given the high profile of this incident that occurred in the mayor's office, it would behoove us to get the results of that audit back as soon as possible," Cohn said.

Cohn was referring to allegations that former mayoral aide Lisa Serna-Mayorga used her city-issued credit card to make thousands of dollars in personal purchases. Serna-Mayorga resigned last week.

The scandal has led to increased scrutiny of the city's credit card policy. Roughly 300 city employees hold credit cards.

Cohn wants those accounts looked at as soon as possible. The council has placed a sales tax increase on the November ballot and Cohn said "I think it would give the wrong impression if we wait to get the results (of the audit) back until after the election."

Cohn also said that he will ask that Shirey hire an outside auditor to look at the credit card use of the mayor and City Council offices. Oseguera reports directly to the council and mayor, and the auditor said he could not examine his bosses' credit cards because of that conflict of interest.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at


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