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CPA WILL PROBE DEALS BETWEEN SANDY OFFICIAL AND CONSTRUCTION FIRM

An independent CPA will investigate financial transactions between Sandy City Council Chairman Ronald K. Gee and the construction company that built a barrier wall along 1300 East in back of Gee's home five years ago.

The audit, approved by the Sandy City Council in closed executive session last week, was prompted by a notarized letter from Teel Construction, in which a company official says he was instructed in 1986 by Sandy City to include in his fourth billing $1,086 for a post and additional underlayment on Gee's tennis court.According to the Nov. 26, 1986, letter, the amount was to be paid to Gee because Sandy's project manager felt Gee had been overcharged for repair work on his court. The court was damaged during construction.

"This document, which wasn't in our files previously, gives us sufficient discomfort that we feel we need to look into it," Sandy Mayor Larry Smith said Tuesday. "There may not be anything out of whack. We just don't know."

Gee, who voted to approve the CPA audit, said he had not seen the letter before last week but did receive the reimbursement for an overpayment he made in expanding his tennis court on the north and south ends during the wall construction.

"If this were John Q Citizen and not Ron Gee, this would be a different story," he said. "There's a small minority group out there that thinks they have something to nail me with. It's because of the election this fall."

Gee was serving on the Sandy City Council in 1986 when the city voted to widen 1300 East at about 11400 South. Gee and five residents donated land for the construction of a barrier wall.

During the wall construction, a corner of his tennis court was removed to install a storm drain and relocate a utility box. A storm drain was placed in the southwest corner of Gee's property; the manhole cover was put on his tennis court.

"In addition we had to drive across the tennis court with heavy equipment so we could get material in and out of the property," said Darrel Scow, Sandy City public works director. "We destroyed the entire surface of the court."

Scow said the city resurfaced the court once because of a compaction failure caused the construction. "The area has collapsed again around the storm drain, so we are looking at options we can take to repair this."

A January 1987 financial disclosure to Sandy City Council shows that the wall project cost $149,000. Of that, the now defunct Teel Construction billed $7,894 for work on Gee's tennis court.

"We were always fighting him. It became a battle between him and us to what was and wasn't to be done," a company spokesman said."He was trying to get something for nothing, and I think he ended up winning. I do think he took advantage of the situation."