Audit Says Treatment Plant Understanding Varies Widely

Article excerpt

The "level of understanding and interpretation relating to. . .records" of the Cow Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant's operations "varies widely" among the parties involved, according to an audit presented Friday to an ad hoc Oklahoma City Council committee.

The committee is investigating the contracts of the plant and Fred Spitz, Oklahoma City engineer who was involved in the plant's design and construction,

The audit, compiled by the Coopers & Lybrand accounting firm, was requested by the council committee. The finding that different people interpret Spitz's contract and involvement with the city differently was no surprise to members of the committee and those in attendance at Friday's meeting

That's because the entire episode of Spitz's involvement and the numerous companies he owns or is affiliated with is "the most complicated thing I've seen in my life," said Assistant City Manager Richard Ridings.

Ridings has dealt with waste-related contracts and projects for 20 years, he said, "and this is the worst I've seen."

He was referring to the maze of companies and contracts associated with Spitz and the development of the Cow Creek plant, complicating the search for evidence that the city has overpaid or been overcharged for treatment services performed there. …