• John Ley

The CWEDA Debacle

Have you heard of CWEDA?

It was the Camas Washougal Economic Development Agency.

CWEDA spent nearly $2 million taxpayer dollars over nearly a decade. Apparently, there are NO financial records. The State Auditor could NOT perform an audit of CWEDA because there were minimal financial records kept. How is this possible?

“CWEDA resisted audits for years” said the State Auditor. Yet Camas, Washougal and the Port continued funding them. Where’s the oversight?

The Mayors of Camas and Washougal, and the Port Director were supposed to act as a Board of Directors, providing oversight and insuring fiscal accountability. What went wrong with the expenditure of nearly $2 million taxpayer dollars?

The Post Record reported in December.

CWEDA was successful,” said David Ripp, the Port’s chief executive officer. “Now we’re at the point where that success has kind of run its course.”
In May 2011, the Port awarded a contract to Cascade Planning Group and its owner, then-Camas Mayor Paul Dennis, for economic development professional services, and selected Dennis as CWEDA’s president and chief executive officer. One week later, Dennis announced that he would resign as Camas’ mayor at the end of that month.”

The State Auditor has now referred the CWEDA case to the County Prosecutor. Why did it take so long for proper oversight of the expenditure of taxpayer money?


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