Christopher J. Ward, former treasurer for the National Republican Congressional Committee, is under investigation for allegedly embezzling as much as a million dollars of the organization’s money.
When our people mess up, we do it Texas-style.
Of course, we’ve been a little distracted with governors who can’t keep their pants zipped and campaign officials who lack tact in sharing their thoughts. The Democrats try to keep it light.
Ward has evidently been carrying out a very extensive scheme of stealing from possibly many committees that he has served on. He was highly trusted. He managed to forge audit reports. Deceived everyone around him. The whole time he managed to bull his way through avoiding a real external audit for 5 years.
Although I can repeat my call for people to seek personal accountability, this shows how critical it is that any organization with a large budget (greater than $1,000,000 per year in probably a good level to use) to have solid controls in place, including regular certified auditing of the books, two signatures on large financial transactions, with no exceptions (Ward was evidently the only signer that could single sign and make wire transfers alone).
How anyone can go 5 years and just weasel his way around and steal so much money is a sign of just how much we take money for granted, and how much we want to let someone else worry about it. You have to have regular audits, no exceptions, and separation of duties, to protect both the organization from theft, and the officers from false accusations. This is pretty standard stuff, and it amazes me that people just don’t do it.
Oh yeah, it’s easier.
My motto for success: Empower everyone, trust no one.
I don’t want to hear any apologies. Send the guy to jail, straighten out the organization, and let’s get back to work.
Hat Tip to Memeorandum.
PS. The Washington Post article did not once refer to Ward’s actions as “embezzlement”, but rather “diverting funds”. Odd. I know the Post is not a friend to either side of the aisle, but you’d think they could call it what it is. The article did, however, use the word in reference to a prior case involving the 1992 presidential campaign of the late Paul Tsongas. Oh well.
About the Author
Mr. Smith is the Publisher of The Conservative Reader. He is Partner/Owner of Ambrosia Web Technology as well as a Systems Architect for Wells Fargo. Art hold a degree in Computer Science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a political blogger at the Des Moines Register. Art's views are purely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wells Fargo.
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