Oakland City Auditor Courtney Ruby has been in an ongoing battle with the Oakland City Council and city staff because she insists they didn't do a good enough job monitoring and scrutinizing cost overruns on the highly successful and quite lovely renovation of the Fox Theater. The whole project cost $91 million and was completed in 2009, but that included about $58 million in extra expenses and change orders, according to Ruby. The City's project share of $13 million — much of that Redevelopment money — ballooned to $52 million when all was said and done,

Ruby also points to developer Phil Tagami of California Capital, who she said provided her with documentation for payments by the City that were "unsupported." In total the project required 524 change orders totaling $18.6 million. The City disputes many of Ruby's claims, but admits that Tagami probably owes the City back about $36,000 which he has agreed to pay. As the Chron reports, "Ruby said the theater is beautiful and acknowledged that it had spurred a revival of the area, which brought a bevy of high-end bars and restaurants to a once dilapidated area. But she said the project nonetheless merits scrutiny for how the city managed public funds and whether there was appropriate oversight."


PREVIOUSLY: Builder of Oakland's Fox Theater Once Imprisoned For 'White Slavery'