Orem Audit Finds No New Embezzlement

Orem Audit Finds No New Embezzlement

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OREM, Utah (AP) -- A special audit instituted after an embezzlement scheme was uncovered a year ago has given Orem a clean bill of financial health.

In addition to the regular annual audit required by law, the city hired a second auditing firm -- Peterson, Allred, and Jackson -- solely to look for evidence of other embezzling.

None was found, said Mayor Jerry Washburn. The audits were the first since Michael Johnson, director of the city's fitness center until November 2004, confessed to embezzling $215,000 beginning in the late 1990s.

Johnson pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony embezzlement on June 15 and has repaid the city.

"If there is a problem, we don't want to sweep it under the mat," Washburn said of the special audit.

The city will continue to conduct the secondary audit annually for the foreseeable future, he said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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