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EDITORIAL: Time for outside audit of Malheur County’s economic development shop

Too many questions are building over operations of Malheur County’s economic development operation. A lot of money and the county’s economic future is at stake. The Malheur County Court needs to order a thorough outside audit.

Since 2013, the county has turned over its economic development efforts to Greg Smith through Gregory Smith and Company. That’s cost the county $108,000 a year. Now, it turns out, Smith holds down two other full-time jobs, manages economic development for three other counties, and has other duties.

County officials have put great stock in Smith’s talents to drive planning for Treasure Valley Reload Center, a rail center for Nyssa. They have been too content to let Smith spin his stories and accept his claims. County Judge Dan Joyce justified not even bother looking at Smith’s bills because he didn . . .