Auditor has $700,000 question that needs answer

State Auditor Stacey Pickering has a $700,000 question to answer. Why did he settle a claim for more than $1 million in misappropriated or misspent public money for less than $300,000?

The question arises from last week’s release of Pickering’s annual Audit Exceptions Report, which describes itself as “A legally mandated account of misappropriated or misspent public funds and the actions taken by the Office of the State Auditor for their recovery and their return to the appropriate entities in Fiscal Year 2013.”

Underscoring our contention that every penny of public money should be accounted for, the report shows that Pickering’s office required someone at Mississippi State University to repay $2.59 for “missing equipment.”

Most of the entries in the report, however, are much more serious. Such as this one. …

So how does nearly $300,000 repay more than $1 million?

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