State Auditor Wayne Johnson designates Regional Coalition of LANL communities for Special AuditSanta Fe, NM – State Auditor Wayne Johnson today designated the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) for a special audit. The designation comes after serious concerns about travel and entertainment reimbursements, including reimbursements for alcoholic beverages, baseball tickets, and first class flights using taxpayer money, possible double reimbursements, and procurement issues.

The RCLC is a publicly-funded coalition of nine cities, towns, counties, and pueblos near the Department of Energy's (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The group was founded in 2011 to lobby DOE and LANL. A contract was awarded to Andrea Romero Consulting, LLC, for Executive Director Services for the RCLC.

"There are enough concerns here to warrant a close look by an independent public accountant to make sure that all state laws were followed in the expenditure of public money," says Johnson. "We have seen expenditures for items like baseball tickets and $28 for a single glass of "Whistling Pig" whiskey. We don't know the full story, but an independent audit will reveal if there are violations of the law and a misuse of public money."

The audit will also look to see if RCLC board members and/or Andrea Romero Consulting, LLC, received double reimbursements for mileage, per diem, or other expenditures. There are also issues of procurement that will be investigated.

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The Grant County Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

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The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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