State Auditor Jim Ziegler announced his office discovered nearly $200,000 worth of state property was lost during the latest quarter. These include missing laptop computers and wrecked vehicles. In total, 40 items were categorized as losses and half of those were unaccounted for.
"The total loss to the state, and thus to taxpayers, was $199,689.01 from 81 assets with a depreciated value of $108,345.50 due to the age of some of the items," Zeigler said.
Ziegler also expressed concern about department heads not properly documenting reprimanding an employee for the loss of an item. He said state law requires it if an employee is negligent or willingly takes an item. Beyond the audit, Ziegler has no power to investigate or discipline. It is something he plans to change in the 2019 legislative sessions with a bill to, "give enforcement powers of the state audits to the State Auditor rather than another agency."