Just thought I'd set the record straight (so to speak), so when members of the right wing start their purge, they'll get it right.

Patricia Victour

Ethic Cleansing
Regarding John Dougherty's article "The Case Against Fife" (March 21): One of the basic standards of the CPA profession is Ethics Rule 101, which, to maintain the public's trust, requires a CPA who is a member of the American Institute of CPAs to be "independent in the performance of professional services." There are also "Rulings" issued to expand on the Rules.

One of these says that a CPA is no longer independent of a client when fees for that client remain unpaid for more than one year. Another goes on to say that a CPA can't issue an audit opinion or review report on a client's financial statements when the CPA is not independent of that client.

So to remain independent of Governor Fife Symington, Coopers & Lybrand probably had no choice but to write off the old fees. This effectively meant that C&L was giving free services to a government official. That can be construed in several ways, the worst of which could still violate CPA ethics rules.

Name withheld

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