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Petersburg treasurer confident as forensic audit team searches his office

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-26 23:35:36-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- The blinds were uncharacteristically drawn inside the office of Petersburg Treasurer Kevin Brown who emerged from City Hall Monday night after an interview with the forensic audit team hired to ferret out any possible fraud in city government.

"I answered some questions upstairs and now they're going into my office to make sure that what I said was correct," Brown said.

As the forensic audit team went through the books inside, Brown talked to CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil outside, and showed confidence despite the circumstances.

"I don't have any reason to believe I am part of the blame," said Brown.

Petersburg Treasurer Kevin Brown

Interim City Manager Tom Tyrrell said the forensic team will look at up to nine areas of the government including Brown's office.

"The treasurer is always going to be the subject of a forensic audit because that's where the money is," Tyrrell said.

Last August, CBS 6 reported that Petersburg's financial crisis involved more than $18 million of unpaid bills after historic over-spending that started in 2012.

"Petersburg didn't drive itself into the financial mess that it's in, into this crisis, it got here somehow, and we need to figure out how it got here so we can avoid that in the future, but also hold people accountable," Tyrrell said.

Petersburg City Hall

A former FBI Agent with 25 years of forensic audit experience heads the independent forensic audit team so Tyrrell said taxpayers should feel satisfied with whatever they find.

"We feel confident if we give a clean bill of health to a department or constitutional office than there's nothing there," Tyrrell said.

Tyrrell said he expects the team to finish reviewing the Treasurer's books Monday night, and the city will take whatever action is appropriate depending on the findings.