Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer

Franklin County Counselor Mark Vincent said it was not a conflict of interest for Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer to take part in a vote seeking proposals for auditing services.

Griesheimer’s wife works for the Washington accounting firm that currently gathers data for the county’s audit. While she works for Hochschild Bloom & Co., she does not take part in the field work for the county’s audit, Griesheimer said.

She works in tax accounting not governmental accounting, he added.

The county has to seek proposals from new accounting firms every three years, Vincent said.

On Tuesday, the county commissioners, including Griesheimer, voted to seek proposals from firms that may be interested in conducting the county’s audit the next three years.

Just because Griesheimer’s wife works for the accounting firm that currently does the county’s auditing field work, does not prohibit him from voting to seek proposals from firms, Vincent said.

Griesheimer said he was going to abstain even if there was not a conflict of interest, but the other commissioners and Vincent said he should not.

Vincent noted that the firm Griesheimer’s wife works for may not even submit a proposal this time.

However, if Hochschild Bloom does submit a bid, then Griesheimer said he would abstain from that point forward.