Legislative Audits chief to retire

Bruce Myers, Maryland's watchdog-in-chief, will wind up a 30-year career in state government Friday when he retires as director of the Office of Legislative Audits.

Myers, a quiet-spoken and circumspect auditor, is known as a dogged investigator of waste and on occasion corruption in state government. The reports produced by his office, which he has headed for 15 years, can be dry and routine but sometimes they uncover wrongdoing that makes front-page news.

Last year his office's findings of a cozy relationship between contractors and the State Highway Administration led to the departure of the agency's administrator and the firing of several lower-level officials. On other occasions audit findings have led to criminal referrals and prosecutions. 

The Office of Legislative Audits is part of the Department of Legislative Services, which serves the General Assembly.

Reporters who have worked with Myers know him as an official who has always been helpful -- up to a point. His practice has been to answer any and all questions about an audit, but to decline to comment on matters outside its scope. Not even when pressed by legislators has he been willing to embellish on the findings in an audit.

Myers, 61, said he's not moving on to another job but plans to spend time with friends and family and to travel. No successor has been named. That choice will be up to Karl Aro, head of the legislative services department, in consultation with the Senate president and speaker of the House.

The retiring director said he's not going out with the release of a blockbuster audit this week, but hinted at interesting findings to come.

"There will be some coming out in the next few months I think will be newsworthy," he said.
That's bad news for some bureaucrats.

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