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Interim City of Corpus Christi auditor still uncertified; new one to be hired

6 Investigates
Posted at 11:42 AM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 18:36:07-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Extensions granted to the interim auditor at the City of Corpus Christi have run out.

Kimberly Houston was named interim auditor four years ago and granted three extensions to become certified, but according to Dist. 5 city councilman Gil Hernandez tells 6 Investigates she has not passed her exam.

"It's not that she hasn't done a good job," Hernandez said. "She just hasn't gotten the certification."

Hernandez, the chairman of the audit committee, said the city has begun looking for a new auditor. He said the city has an executive search firm on retainer, and the process is underway.

The city council will vote Tuesday to establish a panel to interview those applicants.

Hernandez was limited in the information he could provide, citing personnel matters, but said it was an important public position.

The auditor keeps city governments transparent, accountable, and using public funds wisely.

When appointed on April 10, 2018, she was directed to become certified as a Certified Internal Auditor within one year of the date.

Without the certification, she can't assume the job of full-time city auditor, and taxpayers still wouldn't have a qualified city auditor tracking government spending.

"I care about what I do," Houston told KRIS 6 News in January 2020. "I really have become a member of the community, and I'm invested in the success of the city."

In March 2021, city manager Peter Zanoni told 6 Investigates it's Part III of the test that Houston kept failing. That part deals with financial and managerial accounting and information technology.

"Kim's (Houston) goal in every audit is to help us improve as an organization," Zanoni said in 2021. "As a city manager, my experience with her for the past 23 months has been nothing but professional and positive. She's doing a great job for the taxpayer and for the city organization."

Hernandez said he hopes to keep Houston on staff in the auditor's department.

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