It's time to look at scrapping state treasurer's office, Luallen says

02/21/2011 07:10 PM

State Auditor Crit Luallen said with many of the former functions of the state treasurer’s office now under the governor’s Finance and Administration Cabinet, it’s time to look at at perhaps eliminating the position.

Doing so would take a constitutional amendment. But she said it might be the most efficient way to go.

“I think it probably is worth a look to see whether or not in the future the treasurer’s office has enough responsibility to really justify it being a separate statewide elected constitutional office,” she said. “And that’s nothing against the current office holder. I think as a matter of state oversight and efficiency, we ought to look at that issue.”

Her comments on Monday’s Pure Politics follow the release of her office’s latest audit report that found several repeat problems with the state treasurer’s office. Most notably, auditor’s found that the state Treasurer Todd Hollenbach’s office had failed to keep the state’s financial books balanced as required. It also failed to fix problems auditors cited last year with insufficient safeguards on who has access to key state databases.

Those findings were included in the first part of the statewide audit Luallen’s office is required to conduct each year of state agency finances and information technology procedures.

Hollenbach’s office responded in audit by saying his office is understaffed and has unsuccessfully sought funding for another position. Hollenbach is running for re-election and has drawn opposition from Steve Hamrick of Hopkinsville in the Democratic primary. K.C. Crosbie is the Republican nominee.

Also, Luallen explained office’s recent audit of the Mountain Water District that reported that state Rep. Keith Hall, D-Phelps was directing coal severance tax for specific water projects for the district. Then the district used Hall’s contracting company to do $171,000 in electrical work on those project paid for by the tax money he directed there.

- Ryan Alessi


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