State Auditor Otto Contracts With Law Firm Over Audit ChangeState Auditor Rebecca Otto has paid out $21,000 in legal fees already to a law firm she retained to give her advice about a new audit privatization law. Documents released to The Associated Press under a government records request show the firm was retained in June.
Lawmakers Revive Auditor Critique With County ComplaintsCounty officials and state lawmakers aired their grievances Tuesday about the state auditor's handling of a new law curbing her office's power. They focused on State Auditor Rebecca Otto's recent request that counties enter into a three-year contract for annual evaluations — even as they're allowed to start hiring private firms for the routine financial audits.
GOP Calls For Investigation Of State Auditor's Contract TacticsA top state Republican leader is calling for Minnesota House hearings into the actions of the Democratic state auditor. This is after a WCCO investigation discovered county auditors who accuse State Auditor Rebecca Otto of pressuring them into long-term audit contracts with her office, even though a new state law allows them to hire private audit firms starting next year.
Former Treasurer: 'It's Wrong' To Cut Auditor's Office DutiesA former Minnesota State Treasurer said he supports efforts by State Auditor Rebecca Otto to push back against a new law that cuts some of the duties of her office.
Dayton: Special Session Called By End Of Week, Or Early Next WeekMinnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he hopes to call a special session as soon as possible. Dayton says his office is working out the final details with Republican leaders to agree on the spending bills that fund state government.
Shutdown May Be Averted In Minnesota: Dayton Drops Auditor DemandRepublican Lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton have reached a deal on the Minnesota state budget, avoiding a potential government shutdown on July 1 that would have left around 9,500 government workers unemployed.
Dayton Asks Lawmakers To Slow Down Auditor ChangesWith thousands of state jobs in limbo, top lawmakers called it a week -- with no deal to finish their work in a special session. Legislators now have just 25 days to reach a deal or parts of the government start shutting down on July 1.
Dayton To Stall Special Session Til Anti-State Auditor Law RepealedBecause of State Capitol construction disruption, the State Office Building will be home to the bare-bones special session. Preparations are underway to squeeze the House and Senate inside two small hearing rooms. But those details are looming large.
Dayton Ties Special Session To Restoring Auditor FunctionsGov. Mark Dayton says he won't call a special session until lawmakers agree to repeal changes chipping away at the state auditor's authority.
State Auditor Otto To Legislature: Don't Let Private Firms Do My WorkTop state lawmakers say they are "very close" to an agreement to hold a special session in the next few days -- but still no official word on when. Republicans and Democrats reached agreement Monday on an education spending bill that was causing the budget impasse. But there's another issue that has the state auditor considering going to court.
Otto Wants Dayton To Strike Budget Bill Over Audit ClauseMinnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto wants Gov. Mark Dayton to bring down a wide-ranging state government funding bill over a provision that shifts audit powers away from her.
Democrat Otto Re-Elected As State AuditorDemocrat Rebecca Otto has won a third term as state auditor, beating Republican challenger Randy Gilbert. The state auditor serves mainly as a watchdog over local government finances. Last year as a member of Minnesota's Executive Council, Otto voted against approving some copper-nickel prospecting leases in the Iron Range. She said she wanted financial assurances that taxpayers wouldn't be stuck with the cleanup costs.