Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Created: 07/11/2012 04:43:18 PM PDT

ONTARIO – Whatever the results of an audit of alleged procedural violations at Ontario Convention Center, the investigation is not likely to convince the city to sever its relationship with the company managing the venue, city officials said.

Ontario contracts with SMG World to manage the convention center, and the City Council approved a 5-year extension to the firm’s contract on May 1.

On Tuesday, SMG World and Ontario confirmed the management company is performing an internal review of the company’s financials and that center CEO Bob Brown has been placed on administrative leave.

An SMG executive has said no criminal activity is suspected, and Ontario council members who recently considered the possibility of hiring another management firm said they have confidence in SMG World’s ability to police itself and repair any problems.

“This is not any reflection at this point on the quality of their operation,” Councilman Jim Bowman said. “If there is anything outstanding or unusual, they’ll correct it.”

Mayor Paul Leon also said he was satisfied with SMG World’s ability to police itself.

Although Ontario officials and SMG World senior vice president Bob McClintock have confirmed the audit, no one has yet said what exactly is being investigated.

A report is expected in one to two weeks. Brown has not replied to numerous phone calls seeking comment.

Ontario owns the convention center, and the venue exists to to attract conferences that would, in turn, lure hotel guests to Ontario. The objective is to increase the bed taxes that visitors pay which help to fund city operations.

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