Kentucky State Auditor’s Office to conduct special examination of disaster relief funds

Kentucky State Auditor’s Office to conduct special examination of disaster relief funds
Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 3:49 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky State Auditor’s Office announced they will conduct a special examination of tornado and flood relief funds.

In February, we reported that storm relief checks meant for western Kentuckians were mistakenly sent to northern Kentuckians. Now, a larger investigation into relief funds is being called for by State Auditor Mike Harmon.

“The Team Eastern Kentucky flood relief and Team Western Kentucky tornado relief fund are the most transparent disaster recovery funds that I’ve ever seen,” said Governor Andy Beshear, reacting to Harmon’s decision to investigate the relief funds. “So then you gotta ask, why? With all that, with all the testimony that’s there, do we suddenly have an announced audit, as we have an election three months and a couple of weeks away?”

Beshear claimed Harmon has a conflict of interest.

“He was at Daniel Cameron’s announcement of his lieutenant governor yesterday. I believe that their audit would not meet the auditing standards that are out there that require that you are impartial,” said Beshear.

Harmon, who has recused himself from the audit, responded

“I would say if anybody is accusing us of being partisan, then they really haven’t looked at the full body of our work,” said Harmon

Beshear maintained his administration will cooperate with investigations into the funds.

“We’ll provide the documents to anybody. Absolutely anyone,” said Beshear. “Every transaction, every decision, every place a check was mailed, every place that received it. That’s what is available not just to the legislature or to an auditor but to each and every Kentuckian.”

The examination of the funds will cover both the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund and the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.