A state agency will audit a much-criticized real estate deal that led to an attempt to move major regional agencies out of Oakland to San Francisco.
The Legislature's Joint Legislative Audit Committee on Wednesday approved state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier's request to look into the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's proposal to move its headquarters at toll-payers' expense.
"Bay Area motorists travel some of the busiest bridges in the nation. They pay tolls with the expectation that those moneys are used for transportation and congestion related purposes," DeSaulnier, D-Concord, said in a news release. "I have serious concerns about using these revenues for real estate deals. When the Legislature created MTC, I do not believe it ever intended MTC to use toll money for these kinds of real property investments. This audit will provide some clarity on what the law allows toll money to be used for."
The audit was approved by a unanimous bipartisan vote. The Bureau of State Audits, under the direction of State Auditor Elaine Howle, will conduct the audit.
MTC unanimously voted last week to rescind its earlier vote approving the move, and decided to have a six-member committee comprised of former commission chairmen, the current chair and vice chair look into the questions and concerns raised by public officials and others opposed to the move. The committee will report back within 60 days.