LETTER: Release the business waiver audit now
On April 30th Auditor General Eugene DePasquale agreed to audit Gov. Tom Wolf's waiver process, which determined which businesses could reopen during the COVID shutdown.
Where is the report? I heard “sometime this fall” on DePasquale's virtual rally. Does this mean Nov. 4, after the election?
This matter is not trivial — it is the heart of the auditor general job, especially since Wolf suspended “Right to Know” inquiries. The waiver process picked “winners and losers,” where one business could operate but a competitor could not.
Some 40,000 applied, only 8,000 got waivers. The process itself was opaque and inconsistent. For instance, in my county, York, waivers were given to a Realtor, a furniture store, horse stables and landscapers. How are these “life-sustaining” (one criteria for allowing businesses to stay open)?
It also bothered me that Gov. Wolf attended a fundraiser for the auditor general's campaign for Congress. Yes, DePasquale has investigated persons from both parties, but Wolf showing up is not a good look.
Auditor General, you have had enough time. Release the report. Every small business in Pennsylvania deserves to know if the waiver process was fair.