MARTA Audit Chief? Indicted For Embezzlement

MARTA is working hard to prove it can make changes in governance to build the trust of suburbanites who are resistant to cooperating to establish a true regional transit system.  So having your director of audits under indictment for embezzlement – even if the alleged crime does not involve MARTA funds – can’t help the message or image problem right now.  Reports Steve Visser from the AJC:

A top MARTA official tasked with helping overhaul the transit authority’s finances and business model has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of embezzlement.

The victim: the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Institute for Internal Auditors, an association whose members guard their employers against fraud. …

Robin Howard, the assistant general manager for audit at MARTA, served as the president and treasurer of the chapter before coming to MARTA in January 2012, said Kevin Mayeux, the chief operating officer for the Institute of Internal Auditors’ national headquarters.

A Virginia judge issued an arrest warrant for Howard on Tuesday when he did not appear in court, Dixon said. If Howard does not return to Virginia for arrest, authorities will ask Georgia to arrest him, Dixon said.

If I were doing spin for MARTA, I might just have to say that the organization always looks for enterprising go getters that show initiative and chutzpah.  After all, I think the epitome of chutzpah is trying to steal money from an association of auditors.  Well, either chutzpah or stupidity.  And I don’t think MARTA wants to brag about hiring the dumbest people on the face of the earth.  Better go with the chutzpah line.

13 comments

  1. saltycracker says:

    You might want to go with chutzpah AND incompetence:
    “its chief auditor was hired despite a history of financial red flags…”
    Wonder what his severance package & bonus will be, as well as the cost to audit his MARTA work ?

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    MARTA officials are investigating how its chief auditor was hired despite a history of financial red flags, but they vowed the setback wouldn’t derail plans to transform the troubled transit authority.

    Assistant General Manager for Audit Robin Howard resigned Wednesday after a story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed he was under indictment in Virginia on charges of embezzlement and had a history of five-figure liens. The authority now plans to look at its own books to make sure that funds are in their proper place.

    “We will definitely look into any and all areas that our previous auditor was involved in,” General Manger Keith Parker said.

    • saltycracker says:

      P.S. Georgia Legislators have no issue with public servants having liens particularly tax liens – as long as there is a lawyer negotiating a repayment plan…..Suburbanites do like to throw rocks at Atlanta but it is a glass house: Cherokee’s newest BOC member is an example.

  2. Scott65 says:

    I read this headline yesterday and just cringed…they just cant seem to catch a break at MARTA. I really feel for the new general manager. He seems competent enough…but this is all still fall out from Beverly Hall. I am beginning to think she was not nearly as competent as I thought

  3. Al Gray says:

    Thanks for posting this one, Charlie. The audit profession is generously populated with what are referred to as NFA’s – No Findings Auditors. They cannot find their butt cheeks with both hands and some of them have very good reason for not trying.

    After FASB 157, why “audit” anyway?

  4. DavidTC says:

    Wow, this is absurdly meta. The guy in charge of detecting embezzlement at MARTA has been indicted for embezzling from an organization that exists to detect embezzlement.

    This looks bad for MARTA, although it really shouldn’t. Presumably, if he was _just_ indicted, it would be rather hard for a background check to show any problems. It would be interesting to know what the DC IIA said when MARTA called to check references, though.

      • saltycracker says:

        see above quote from the article:
        “its (that’d be MARTA) chief auditor was hired despite a history of financial red flags…”

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