From the beginning, 14 Palm Beach County cities have insisted that their refusal to finance the countywide inspector general’s office has nothing to do with resistance to the watchdog agency itself. Their lawsuit and refusal to pay, they said, was simply due to concerns about the constitutionality of the agency’s unconventional financing model.
But the cities’ actions tell a very different tale. Since filing the lawsuit that has halted those cities’ contributions to the Office of Inspector General’s $3 million budget, city negotiators have brought forward two proposed settlements. Rather than focus on changing the funding formula– which they claimed was their only concern – each proposal has included provisions that would restrict the inspector general’s ability to investigate local governments.
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