Some Dallas councilmembers not happy with search process for new city auditor

The new person in charge of rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse at Dallas City Hall is off to a tough start with the city council.

Some council members are concerned the search firm in charge of did not properly vet the candidates. One councilmember said he had to find out on his own that one of the candidates chosen as a finalist had misrepresented himself on his resume.

"Regarding the process, we may have had a few bumps,” said councilmember Jennifer Staubach-Gates.

The process of finding the right person to make sure city government is running well was called out for not running well.

“As we discovered one of the candidates had misrepresented his employment history. Now I had to go find that out. The search firm did not present us with that information,” said councilmember Philip Kingston.

Kingston later said that acting on a tip, he made a call to verify the job title of one of the three finalists.

“He claimed to have a job he did not hold,” Kingston said. “I consider that extraordinarily serious.”

That's because the auditor's role in city government is to root out fraud. That candidate was not considered for the job on Wednesday.

“The thing the auditor has is access to every piece of data in this building. Confidential information,” Kingston said.

Disappointed with how the outside search firm vetted candidates, Kingston called for a delay until a new search could be conducted. But a divided council moved forward -- instead hiring an auditor from Nashville.

Mark Swann was praised for investigating a scandal there that received national attention -- a former mayor suspected of committing fraud while she was having an affair with her body guard.

“I want to tell you he went through a tough time there when the mayor had some issues,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “The auditor was called in to verify what was true and what was not true, and he came out in fabulous way, kind of person we want in our city, always telling the truth.”

Swann will be paid $200,000 per year, starting May 1. His contract is for two years.