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Schweich to release Highway Patrol audit

Schweich to release Highway Patrol audit

June 25th, 2013 in News

State Auditor Tom Schweich's office said Monday the office plans to release a report this morning on the Highway Patrol's operations.

That report likely will include a review of the patrol's airplane use, since the auditor's office said earlier this year it would add that study to an audit it had begun on the patrol last year.

By law, the state auditor regularly reviews state agency operations, and Schweich's office had said last year it was reviewing the patrol's school bus safety inspections and other duties.

A News Tribune study of the patrol's flight records for 2012 showed that Nixon and his administration used the King Air 90 for 104 flights - 83.2 percent of all 125 flights the patrol reported the plane made during 2012.

The patrol tracks the plane's use by hours flown, not miles, and Nixon's flights used 173.1 hours, or 80 percent, of the total 215.9 hours shown on the patrol reports provided to the News Tribune under a Sunshine Law records request.

The governor's office did not have a comment Monday afternoon about those statistics.

The auditor's office comments about studying the use of the patrol's King Air 90 and other aircraft were made after lawmakers complained in January that the patrol spent nearly $5.6 million on a new King Air 250 without first getting legislative approval.

The patrol said the purchase was made legitimately, from the patrol's Automobile, Aircraft and Watercraft Revolving Fund.

Lawmakers this year passed a law requiring legislative approval of any purchase over $100,000.