Eight NWMN Counties Stand United Against State Auditor 04 Aug 17

She says “Trust me,” but they are not taking her at her word.

Eight Northwest Minnesota Counties continue to defy State Auditor Rebecca Otto, who has hijacked the County Audit process claiming deficiencies in the 2015 annual review, prepared by the local firm of Hoffman, Philipp and Knutson.

Meeting yesterday in Thief River Falls, Roseau, Kittson, Hubbard, Red Lake, Clearwater, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods and Pennington Counties all agreed to prepare a letter, with the help of the Association of Minnesota Counties, asking Otto to work with the Hoffman Firm on specific changes instead of making tax payers pay twice for the same product.

Also attending yesterday, District #1 State Senator Mark Johnson along with Representatives Steve Green of Fosston, Matt Bliss of Pennington, in Beltrami County, Matt Grossell of Bagley, and Representative Dan Fabian of Roseau, who has asked for the assistance of the Non-Partisan Office of Legislative Auditor headed by the long respected Jim Nobles.

Fabian has been critical of Otto’s motives as potentially politically motivated, citing on-going court action in a dispute with the state legislature and her current campaign for governor.

For her part, Otto, an elected officer, has said counties must trust in the professionalism of her office and her word when she says the audit do-overs are necessary to protect the credibility of county finances.