W.Va. House speaker: Audit findings ‘troubling’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates says evidence of mismanagement under the state Department of Agriculture’s previous administration has been turned over to a federal prosecutor.

Democrat Tim Miley of Harrison said Thursday that a preliminary legislative audit of the department’s finances before Walt Helmick became commissioner found evidence of “troubling activities and management practices,” including questionable accounting methods and expense reimbursements..

Helmick requested the audit, which Miley said is standard practice when a new agency head takes over. Miley and Senate President Jeff Kessler ordered the auditor to turn the findings over to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Legislative Auditor Aaron Allred told the Charleston Gazette that Helmick requested the audit on his first day on the job last January, but he declined further comment.

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