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Councilman Howze makes unsubstantiated claims
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I am greatly concerned by the incendiary and malicious tone of Turlock City Council member Ted Howze’s letter of May 21.

Accounting and budgeting for insurance reserves is a complex and challenging task. Estimates and projections about future events are required. It is likely that an over or under provision will occur when doing this work. It is not proof or even an indicator that a crime has occurred. 

He states in the third paragraph of his letter to the editor, the funds “confirm a pattern of corruption.” In the fifth paragraph he states without any evidence that “fraudulent accounting” has occurred. In addition, he implies a conspiracy was taking place in “directing the cover-up of the funds.” Finally he says in his last paragraph that “somebody would go to jail” if something similar was found at a for profit organization. 

These unsubstantiated accusations are so inappropriate it is hard to believe they appeared in your publication. Mr. Howze is apparently comfortable casually accusing city employees of crimes. 

I hope he has checked the City’s liability insurance reserves. Libel like this from a councilmember can be very costly. The City may need those reserves transferred one more time.

— Robert Hillberg, CPA