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Responses to de la Torre's Conflict "Misleading and Amusing"

July 27, 2021

Dear Editor,

I generally found the responses from Horace Hertz and John Petz to my letter concerning the behavior of Councilmembers Phil Brock and Christine Parra to council member de la Torre’s conflict of interest (determined and identified by a Superior Court Judge) to be misleading and amusing.

Petz, for his conclusion that a conflict of interest only arises from a financial benefit, which is incorrect (as confirmed by the Court) and has to do with de la Torre and his wife but ignores the issue of Brock and Parra ostensibly ignoring his conflict in the interest of their political ally as opposed to the interests of the city ( "LETTERS -- A Ridiculous and Unfounded Attack," July 28, 2021).

Hertz is amusing in that he expects me to address issues beyond that which was the only subject of the article to which I responded ("LETTERS -- Selective Criticism Shows Bias," July 28, 2021).

That said, referring to the two matters Hertz addressed he must be oblivious to my widely published record over the past 30 years in Santa Monica when he implies that somehow, by omission, I am endorsing the behavior of other identified Democrats in their conflicts. Few have written more published words criticizing the political conduct of the one-party in control of the city for eons. My comments are about the successors.

Hertz, however, goes a bit further -- engaging in a personal attack alleging that, somehow, I’m unaware of or lack knowledge about how conflicts of interest are addressed in my profession. Also, while informing readers that he doesn’t need to put CPA after his name, he laughingly introduces himself as a CPA and, seemingly importantly, tells readers he’s been a partner in an international firm as well as raising money for emerging business -– implying that somehow it anoints him as my superior.

In fact, I am the author of one of the leading professional treatises on ethical standards for tax professional, have written extensively for law and accounting publications on ethical matters and specifically conflicts of interest, and have received professional organization awards for teaching and writing on ethics matters.

Moreover, I’ve been retained by numerous "international" CPA firms as their consulting or witness expert in defending against malpractice claims including the four largest in the world -- which include the one where Hertz was a partner and where I began my career.

Kip Dellinger, CPA (and, yes, proud of it)
Santa Monica

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