Multnomah County needs an Auditor who will use our office's resources wisely to audit programs in need of serious review.
I pledge to start the following projects during my first year in office.
County jail conditions
There have been credible reports about disproportionate use of force against people of color in our county jails as well as reports of inhumane treatment of people with mental illness.
These reports have included recommendations for improvement, and county leaders have committed to making changes in the jails.
But there is much work to be done.
My office will use these reports as a foundation to dig deeply into how the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is treating people inside our jails.
I will focus on a broad range of components of the criminal justice system -- from arrest to prosecution to incarceration to supervision in the community.
Accessing housing and homeless services
The County Auditor’s Office has audited housing and homeless services twice in the last five years but these audits have not included the client perspective.
My office will include the voices of people who need county help to find or stay in stable housing.
The City of Portland is a partner in the County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services, so I will maintain an open dialogue with Portland City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero to support the most efficient use of our auditing capacity.
Good Government Hotline
The Auditor’s office operates the Good Government Hotline for county employees and residents to report possible fraud and waste of county government resources. While the hotline is a critical county resource, it gets relatively few calls or clicks each year.
Good Government Hotline: 888-289-6839 or online.
My office will regularly promote the hotline and offer training to county employees on how to spot potential fraud or waste. We will also make sure people know that state law protects those who call the hotline. As your elected Auditor, I will stand up for whistleblowers.
I will add an organizational ombudsman to the staff in the Auditor's Office so that county employees will have a trusted place to report concerns about harassment and discrimination.
An organizational ombudsman housed within the Auditor’s office
- Is a confidential resource for employees
- helps mediate resolutions and arrive at ways for restorative justice
- is a neu tral, independent party outside the administrative hierarchy of the county.
Adult care homes and facilities
In the spring of 2017, the Oregonian/Oregonlive reported on a state-run database of senior care facilities that excluded thousands of cases of poor care and elder abuse. People relied on the database to place loved ones in good homes, and the state failed them.
More than 600 adult care homes contract with the Multnomah County for the privilege of providing services to seniors and adults with disabilities. My office will look at how the county holds providers accountable for the care they are supposed to provide and use tools, such as sampling, to examine conditions in adult care homes.
Listening to the community
I plan to start two or three other projects during my first year, based on input I receive from members of the community and county employees.
Several ideas I have already heard and am excited about include:
- audits of internal county systems to explore institutional racism,
- the intersection of transportation issues and accessing county services,
- how government obtains and uses data (i.e., when are the data public),
- impacts of op ioid misuse on county services.