Audit Clears Treasurer's Office

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A management audit issued Sept. 18 has cleared Idaho State Treasurer Ron Crane's office of wrongdoing, the Spokesman-Review reports.

The audit cleared Crane's office of three longstanding concerns, including those having to do with gas card purchases totaling nearly $8,000 for trips between the capital and Crane's Canyon County home; the "Smart Money, Smart Women" conference, for which the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has authorized $10,000 annually in Crane's budget; and trips to New York, where Crane, as part of an Idaho delegation, rode in stretch limos. Crane said that the delegation now rides in sport utility vehicles.

"We strive to provide the best service possible through innovation and to protect the state's assets by applying prudent and ethical banking and investment practices," Crane told the Spokesman-Review in the wake of the audit's findings.

Earlier audits uncovered that the treasurer's office may have cost the state as much as $27.4 million after it shifted some $10 million from distressed local investment accounts to the state's account and purchased mortgage-based securities at face, rather than market, value at a loss of approximately $17.4 million. These issues were not addressed in the recently released audit.