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Ky. Auditor Troubled By Ky. Ag Financial Review

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky's state auditor says she is deeply troubled by a report criticizing how nearly $5 million of Kentucky's tobacco settlement money was spent during the Fletcher administration.

"I think the board and the staff need to take this very seriously," state auditor Crit Luallen said.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported the money was to be spent on agriculture marketing grants to get more Kentucky farm products into the marketplace.

It was supposed to be watched over by Louisville-based Allied Food Marketers West. But the audit said oversight was so lax that results can't be measured.

The audit was requested by the Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy.

The grants were awarded by the Agricultural Development Board in 2005 and 2006, under former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who chaired the board. The vice chairman of the board was Richie Farmer, who is the state's Agriculture Commissioner and remains vice chairman of the panel.


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