Dewey audit committee documents stir controversy

Secretary disputes chair’s revisions to meeting minutes
November 9, 2018

Minutes of the Aug. 3 Dewey audit committee meeting were approved Nov. 6 amid continued controversy.

Minutes were approved by a vote of 2-1, with committee Secretary Diane Hanson objecting to changes to minutes she had previously submitted. At issue was whether committee Chair Larry Silver had requested draft documents distributed at the Aug. 3 meeting be returned.

“I did add on the Aug. 3 meeting that I did ask for draft documents to be returned to the auditors,” Silver said.

Hanson disagreed. “No, I don’t think you did,” she said, noting she records conversations on her laptop as they occur during meetings. Hanson asked Commissioner Dale Cooke, in attendance at the Aug. 3 meeting, if an announcement had been made. Cooke said it had not.

“I do not remember anybody being told to return them,” Cooke said. “As a matter of fact, when I left the meeting, I specifically said to somebody else after the meeting, ‘they must be public documents because he did not ask for them to be returned.’”

Silver interrupted, “I didn’t ask for them to be returned at the beginning, but when you stood up and everybody left, Roy had a box of all the documents, and I said, ‘please give them back.’”

Cooke said, “I left after you adjourned the meeting, so…”

Hanson said she would not approve Silver’s edited minutes.

Hanson’s Aug. 17 meeting minutes stated the Aug. 3 minutes had been unanimously approved.

“I stand by that,” she said.

Silver and committee member Steve Huse approved Silver’s revised minutes. After the meeting was adjourned, questions arose on how to approve the minutes.

Dewey Mayor T.J. Redefer said legal counsel may be needed; Cooke said that question should have been addressed before the meeting was adjourned. Silver said he was turning the issue over to commissioners.

The next commissioners’ meeting is at 9 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, at Dewey Lifesaving Station. Commissioners will vote to approve new committee chairs and members. Revised draft minutes are on the town website. Original minutes as written by the secretary are not.

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