Yesterday (Feb. 10) was the deadline for a judge to rule on a request by Clay County to amend an October judgment that unequivocally confirmed the Auditor's legal authority to conduct performance audits. The lawsuit was originally filed by the Clay County Commission in an attempt to delay a citizen-mandated audit of the county. The judge took no action on the motion, effectively denying the Commission's claim.
"When the case was dismissed in October, the judgment was clear: the State Auditor has the authority to perform a comprehensive audit of the operations and finances of Clay County government. It is unfortunate that some members of the Clay County Commission have attempted to prevent the audit that citizens demanded from moving forward. Nonetheless, we will continue our audit work and get the answers these taxpayers deserve."
The audit of Clay County was initiated after a citizen petition was submitted to the Auditor's Office and then verified to have more than the minimum 5,590 signatures of county residents who are registered voters. The audit began in December 2018. In January 2019, Clay County sued to prevent the Auditor from conducting the citizen-mandated audit. An Oct. 24 court ruling confirmed the Auditor's legal authority to conduct performance audits and dismissed the County Commission's lawsuit against the Auditor.