District Attorney Investigating Assessor

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has opened investigation into how Assessor Webster Guillory has implemented a $20 million computer system and whether he is properly collecting taxes on businesses using government property.

Last month, Orange County Employees Association General Manager Nick Berardino alleged that Guillory has not collected up to $125 million in taxes that he should have over the last 27 years.

And critics inside the Assessor's office say the $20 million spent on the ACS computer system has been badly misspent. They say Guillory has mislead the county supervisors in terms of the system's effectiveness and cost.

According to County CEO Tom Mauk -- who is expected to update supervisors tomorrow at their weekly meeting -- "the district attorney is part of the investigative group."

Mauk noted that the review is a "non-criminal inquiry," part of a protocol implemented after the 1994 bankruptcy.

District attorney spokeswoman Susan Kang Schroeder would not comment immediately but said she was researching the issue.

Berardino declined comment Monday.

In 2006, a state board of equalization audit in 2006 criticized Guillory for not collecting supplemental possessory interest taxes.

-- NORBERTO SANTANA JR.

 

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