COD Board of Trustees Vote Unanimously to Seek Forensic Audit

PALM DESERT — College of the Desert Board of Trustees voted 5-0 on Friday, Dec. 16 to seek a comprehensive forensic audit to help address concerns that have risen regarding how Desert Community College District is spending money.

As the meeting entered its fourth hour, student member Allen Pahl had to leave and was absent from the vote.

The audit will investigate each and every construction contract granted in the past five to eight years in the District. A forensic audit is an examination of an organization’s financial records to look for evidence which can be used in a court of law or legal proceeding.

Concerns center on the cost of developing campuses and facilities in Cathedral City, Coachella, Mecca/Thermal, Palm Desert and Palm Springs.

Kinnamon as COD’s superintendent/president from July 2012 to March 31, 2021. He was officially sworn into office on Dec. 9 and got to work.

The resolution also states that concerns have been expressed by constituents that have
requested public records that have to date not been provided and the city of Palm Springs has sued the District for planning documents, which has cast a shadow of secrecy on the District.

The objective is to determine whether the price was fair and just to the District, were there any conflicts of interest involved in granting the contracts and whether any public official benefits personally by virtue of the construction planned or implemented pursuant to such contracts. Also, were any of the projects not listed on the college’s Facilities Master Plan on file with the State Chancellor’s Office.

“In consultation with incoming Board Chair Bonnie Stefan, as well as observing the various issues surrounding the current state of affairs over the past year and a half, the resolution was placed on the agenda for this Friday’s board meeting for discussion and potential action, Kinnamon told Uken Report.

Kinnamon was ceremonially sworn into office Friday along with Trustee Rubén AríAztlán Pérez who represents Area 1. He was reelected to a second term in November.

A subcommittee will be comprised of Trustees from Area 1 and Area 3, which is Pérez and Fred E. Jandt respectively.

A Request for Proposal (RFP)) shall be completed and approved by the Board sub-committee, posted by the District administration, and sent by the District administration to potential bidders approved by the Board sub-committee no later than Jan. 9, 2023. The subcommittee will be provided all proposals and an auditor retained no later than Jan.   27, 2023.



Image Sources

  • Forensic Audit: Shutterstock