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Arlington Hires New Auditor, Launches Public Fraud and Abuse Hotline

Money (file photo)Arlington County is launching a Financial Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline hotline to the public.

The hotline, which launches on Tuesday, Nov. 15, “will offer a confidential and secure way to report suspected incidents of financial fraud, waste and abuse.” It expands on a similar hotline for County employees to report activity that negatively impacts County operations.

“Ethics are at the core of what we do as public stewards,” Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a statement. “Our employees, by and large, do the right thing every day. We successfully launched an employee financial waste, fraud and abuse hotline in May of 2015. We are pleased to expand this hotline to the public, as another easy way for anyone to report suspected instances of financial fraud, waste and abuse.”

The hotline, operated by third-party provider Ethical Advocate, can be reached via phone at 866-565-9206 or online at arlingtonva.ethicaladvocate.com. Tipsters can opt to remain anonymous.

Complaints will be examined by a “Review Committee” that will then “determine appropriate action,” including potential review by the Arlington County Police Department.

Dr. Chris Horton (photo courtesy Arlington County)Separately, the Arlington County Board announced at its Wednesday meeting that it had hired a new County Auditor, after the county’s first independent auditor left the job in July.

The new auditor, Dr. Chris Horton, previously served as audit manager for the Fairfax County Public Schools’ Office of Auditor General.

More about the hire from a county press release, after the jump.

The Arlington County Board announced today that it has hired Dr. Chris Horton as the County Auditor. Horton, who served as the audit manager for the Fairfax County Public Schools’ Office of Auditor General, will report directly to the Board. He will be responsible for developing work plans to review County programs.

“We welcome Dr. Horton to the County’s already strong financial management team,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “Dr. Horton will play a key role in our continuing efforts to strengthen County operations and ensure that public funds are spent responsibly, efficiently and in a transparent manner.”

Dr. Horton’s work will augment the County’s existing internal audit function within the Department of Management and Finance. Under the direction of the Audit Committee, Horton will undertake independent program and operational audits and reviews of County departments, operations and County-funded programs. His priorities will be program efficiency, effectiveness and transparency.

The Board voted unanimously to approve Dr. Horton’s contract. He will take up his duties Nov. 21.

Dr. Horton has more than 15 years of audit experience. In his role as audit manager for Fairfax County Public Schools’ Office of Auditor General, he has helped build the office’s performance auditing capability. He also has performed audits within a wide variety of business units and has advised the Audit Committee on the structure of the audit function.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Horton served five years as an audit supervisor with the City and County of Denver. He assisted the city auditor in implementing a robust performance audit function.

Dr. Horton began his audit career with Arizona state government, primarily working in the Performance Audit Division of the Arizona Auditor General’s Office. He also helped start the compliance audit function for the Telecommunications Program Office (now called Enterprise Infrastructure & Communications) in the Department of Administration.

Chris Horton began his audit career with Arizona state government, primarily working in the Performance Audit Division of the Arizona Auditor General’s Office. Dr. Horton also helped to start the compliance audit function for the Telecommunications Program Office (now called Enterprise Infrastructure & Communications) in the Department of Administration.

Dr. Horton serves on the Association of Local Government Auditors Board of Directors (ALGA), where he has helped lead the development of a Corporate Associates Program. Previously, he was the chairman of the ALGA Education Committee. Under his leadership, the committee significantly expanded the number and variety of educational offerings, such as webinars and regional training conferences, and created the ALGA mentorship program. In addition to his service in ALGA, Dr. Horton is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and holds four certifications through the IIA.

Dr. Horton completed his B.A. in Political Science and History, and an M.A. in History, both from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He completed his Ph.D. in Public Administration from Arizona State University.

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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

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