Latest Sun Valley Probe: Allegations of Eavesdropping, Nepotism

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The latest bombshell out of Sun Valley City Hall indicates that an independent investigation revealed an alleged eavesdropping incident, an alleged inappropriate relationship between a city official and a subordinate, and alleged nepotism at the city's fire department.

This morning's Idaho Mountain Express details the findings of an independent probe triggered by Sun Valley's former Finance Manager and Treasurer Michelle Frostenson's concerns about the city's financial affairs. The investigation was conducted in late 20111 by Boise-based attorney Patricia Ball. The Mountain Express reports that Ball's report triggered a separate forensic audit, which concluded there was a "severe lack of control" of city credit cards.

The Mountain Express reports that the 2011 investigation by Ball, which cost the city of Sun Valley more than $29,000, raised several allegations, including:

-An alleged eavesdropping incident by former City Administrator Sharon Hammer on an executive session of the City Council.
-An alleged friendship between Hammer and a subordinate that may have resulted in monetary bonuses for the friend and the friend obtaining city-owned housing.
-Possible nepotism in the Fire Department that may have resulted in irregular purchases on city credit cards.

The report also said that Hammer admitted to hearing "substantive conversation" from the executive session and that she "exposed herself to allegations of preferential treatment by engaging in social relationships" with a subordinate.

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