Letter: Inspector General Faces Yet Another Challenge

A seven-member committee responsible for overseeing the county’s Office of Inspector General will evaluate the inspector general’s performance to date. They are asking for public comment on her performance.

From the very beginning, despite 72 percent of the residents in Palm Beach County overwhelmingly approving the idea of establishing the Office of the Inspector General, there have been factions trying to get rid of it.

Time after time, the residents spoke up at meetings to prevent diminishing the power and objectives of the inspector general. The people stood fast. They want the “Corruption County” label gone. There is only one way to do that, and that is to keep and fund our inspector general.

The current lawsuit of 14 cities on funding has hampered her performance to recruit staff and cover the cost of her office.

Another challenge is in the works. Once again we must meet it. Let your voice be heard again and again until we truly have an independent inspector general.

Morley Alperstein


  1. The Inspector General [IG] is costing Palm Beach residents $3.3 million dollars. When the initiative was placed on the ballot voters agreed based upon misinformation. The Commissioners of Palm Beach County said that the Office of Inspector General would be funded by a one-quarter percent increase in the cost of doing business in the County. They said that it would not be an additional tax on we taxpayers!

    Perhaps the shell game that has given the County a bad name is still being played out?

    We were told that the funding for the IG would be paid by contractors and not by taxpayers. Voters believe what they hear from politicians, but the Commissioners were being disingenuous because it was clear to intelligent voters that every contractor who submits a bit would simply add the one-quarter percent to the bid. Those voters like me voted against the new bureaucracy. I felt at the time that law enforcement had done a fantastic job of unearthing crimes committed by County Commissioners.

    The spin doctors who love big government and who believe that government is the answer to everything used that crisis to create a $3.3 million dollar agency that was and is not necessary and has proven to be a great waste of taxpayer resources. Not only $3.3 million for the IG but hundreds of thousands of tax dollars are being spent by Municipalities to comply with discovery demands of the IG.

    The Commissions, especially those who are familiar with construction bids understood what I knew as a lawyer who is familiar with public bids. The taxpayers would indirectly pay the $3.3 million now needed to fund a new layer of government that has doubled and tripled in size since it began.

    The argument that Municipalities are hampering the job of the Inspector General is specious. Since the Commissioners thought the IG was such a great idea and so necessary then why are they not funding the office?

    If anyone is hampering the IG it is the County Commission. They have funded everything from Fine Arts to beautification programs along Okeechobee Boulevard. The Commissioners have spent taxpayer money like we all have unlimited resources, but the Commissioners will not fund the IG. Perhaps we should ask if the County Commissioners have lost their enthusiasm for the IG.

    The argument is that the IG cannot do her job unless she can hire more personnel, and she cannot hire more personnel unless she has more funding. Note that each position has an assigned yearly salary, but the IG has hired personnel and is paying more than the assigned yearly salary for the position. Who is going to oversee the IG when the IG does not follow the rules?

    Perhaps instead of the Commissioners asking if Municipal officials have something to hide, we should ask if the Commissioners are not willing to fund the IG because they have something to hide.

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