Agriculture Commissioner Calls for Audit of Previous Administration

by admin on January 11, 2012

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky’s new Agriculture Commissioner is calling for an audit of former commissioner Richie Farmer’s administration.

In his sixth day on the job, Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer stood alongside new state auditor Adam Edelen, a Democrat, to announce that a broad review of the Ag Department is underway.

Comer says he’s read too many negative reports in the press and heard from department employees about low morale.

“There were stories about different questionable purchases that the department had made over the past few years and questions about the work ethic of an employee or two,” he said.

Without going into detail about what specifically investigators are looking for, Edelen said they will be talking to current and former employees, and former Commissioner Richie Farmer could be questioned.

“Commissioner Farmer ought to welcome this audit,” Edelen said. “If he did nothing wrong, he has nothing to worry about because I’m not interested in pursuing anything other than the facts.”

The agriculture department allotted up to $15,000 for the audit. Comer says he has dismissed about 15 staffers from the previous administration, including Richie Farmer’s girlfriend who had a high paying job in the department.

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