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You have to hand it to the auditors from Stuart Maue, the company serving as the court-appointed fee examiner in the Tribune Co. bankruptcy case: They are unbelievably thorough. They chastised an employee at AlixPartners, the financial adviser to the Tribune creditors committee, for spending $902.52 for a night and two meals at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York — and got Alix to shell out $487.52 from its own pockets to cover the bill. They discovered that Jones Day billed the Tribune estate 20 cents per photocopy instead of 10 cents, a finding that saved the estate $8.10. They forced AlixPartners to explain why some of its employees were often spending more than $50 on work-related dinners, and asked that Alvarez & Marshal (Tribune’s restructuring adviser) retract a request for Tribune to pay $22.68 for stamps, envelopes and tape.

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