The Ely City Council and Railroad Board of Trustees fired Robert Moore, the long time certified pubic accountant (CPA) for the Nevada Northern Railroad, and approved the creation of a debt management committee in their first meeting since the forensic audit of the railroad’s books was released. Both actions came from recommendations found within the 69-page audit done by Larry Bertsch, CPA & Associates LLP.
City Councilman Dale Derbidge called the efforts of the railroad’s previous accounting a “failure” during a discussion about whether or not to terminate Moore. The board agreed and voted unanimously to remove Moore from the position and put a request for proposal out for a new CPA firm to bid for the position.
NNRY Executive Director Mark Bassett argued that he “didn’t understand” why the trustees would want to remove someone that has had a working relationship with the railroad for 20 years. According to councilman Bruce Setterstrom, the move was a necessary first step towards fixing issues brought to light in the forensic audit, namely keeping the board more informed upfront.
“Robert Moore had been answering only to the Railroad Management Board. Whoever the new CPA ends up being, they will answer to the Board of Trustees so we don’t have to wait 18 months for information,” Setterstrom said.
A new committee to handle the debt of the railroad was similarly approved of to increase communication between the two boards. The three-person committee will consist of one Railroad Trustee, one Railroad Management Board member and one independent third party member who will be appointed by City of Ely Mayor Melody Van Camp.