Shurgard Storage Centers Inc., Seattle, has announced that Deloitte & Touche LLP has resigned as its outside auditor because of what Shurgard termed "perceived inconsistencies" in the company's communications with Deloitte.Shurgard said Deloitte's letter of resignation did not state a reason for the action, but that the accounting firm's conversations with the chairman of Shurgard's audit committee indicated that the company's communications with Deloitte about an overpayment "had led Deloitte to conclude it could no longer rely on representations of the company's management." The overpayment of approximately $1.4 million was made in connection with the liquidation of an affiliated limited partnership, the real estate investment trust said. W. Thomas Porter, chairman of Shurgard's audit committee, said the panel has reviewed the facts surrounding the overpayment and concluded that there had been "no malfeasance" and that it was "satisfied with management's resolution of the matter." The committee has begun a search for a new independent auditor, and the filing of Shurgard's Form 10-Q for the third quarter has been delayed by the resignation, the company said.

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