DeKalb Chief Audit Executive John Greene says he will help protect taxpayer money and improve government operations. Greene started his job Sept. 26. MARK NIESSE / MARK.NIESSE@AJC.COM.

Government oversight job starts in DeKalb

DeKalb County’s financial watchdog is on the job of finding government waste and fraud.

John Greene, the county’s chief audit executive, started work Sept. 26 after the DeKalb Board of Commissioners unanimously appointed him to bring a higher degree of financial supervision to county government.

Greene, who was previously the inspector general for the Florida Secretary of State’s Office, said his newly founded auditing office will offer constructive suggestions in addition to seeking out financial irregularities.

“We’re not always the gotcha people. We’re here to point things out and make things better,” Greene said Friday. “We’ll do good things for DeKalb taxpayers.”

Greene’s first tasks will be to conduct a risk assessment to determine what needs investigating, hire 10 to 12 staff members and set policies and procedures.

The county hired Greene, who will earn a salary of $142,000, after state legislators passed a law last year requiring greater financial oversight for DeKalb, which has struggled with numerous allegations of misspending. Some of those problems have included charge card abuseskickbacks and expenses for personal purchases, including airfare and meals.

The DeKalb Audit Oversight Committee reviewed 49 candidates and interviewed the top six of them before recommending finalists to the Board of Commissioners, which selected Greene Aug. 23.

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