A history of missteps by the current Monroe County auditor dogged one of her subordinates at a candidate forum Wednesday night.
Republican auditor candidate Vivien Bridges says she would implement a policy of transparency and accountability to prevent credit card abuses like the ones current auditor Amy Gerstman is accused of.
“They aren’t checking their work, there are no checks and balances,” Bridges says. “This would have continued to go on if it hadn’t been found out. I think that if she had remained, and this hadn’t been discovered, I think that it would have continued.”
Gerstman stands accused of using county credit cards for personal expenses. Her chief deputy, Democratic candidate Steve Saulter, preferred not to say much about the issue Wednesday because the criminal investigation is ongoing.
“It is sad it happened and therefore you have to restore public confidence, you have to restore integrity. But that’s done through actions, not words,” Saulter says.
Saulter refers to his plan of action as ‘meet the auditor’. He says he wants to make himself accessible to the public as a way to reestablish public trust.
“I want them to come in at any time and talk to me and not have to make appointments,” he says. “The office doesn’t belong to the Democrats. The office doesn’t belong to the Republicans. The office belongs to the taxpayers.”
But Saulter says reestablishing these values will take time, regardless of who is elected auditor.