Bob Mercer and I are reading and thinking the same things.
That historic state flag isn’t the only thing that went missing under Jason Gant’s Secretary of State-ship. The Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee has in its hands an audit report on the Secretary of State’s office filed by state auditor general Marty Guindon on July 15, 2015, and sent to current Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and cc’ed to Gant on August 24. Guindon’s review found the following irregularities left for Krebs by Gant when he left office at the end of 2014:
- On December 31, 2014, the SOS receipting system reported $298.278.48 in its prepaid account deposit accounts. The actual money in the bank on December 31, 2014, was $254,970.63. Writes Guindon, “There was no evidence of a reconciliation explaining the $43,307.84 difference.”
- Gant’s office purchased thirty iPad Minis (that’s two iPads for each current staff member.) When Krebs took over on January 2, 2015, three Minis were missing.
- The Blue Book, our Legislative manual, is usually printed by July of each odd-numbered year. Gant’s office somehow managed not to produce the 2013 Blue Book until December 2014, which means Gant failed to perform a statutory duty (see SDCL 2-7-1). Gant’s office broke its contract with the normal printer in October 2014 and got someone else to print the Blue Book, but the original publisher filed a claim against the state in April 2015 for $28,512.93 plus interest.
- Gant’s office appears to have used federal Help America Vote Act grant money for purposes not encompassed by HAVA. Gant’s office used a cloud storage service for both HAVA and the Division of Business Services (is that where the corporate filings went?) but paid for that service entirely with HAVA money. Gant’s office spent $12,000 of HAVA money on unallowable Federal Voting Assistance Program expenses. Gant’s office also retained no invoices from counties that received twelve HAVA subgrants worth $110,495.
GOAC has requested Secretary Krebs attend Friday’s meeting (Agenda Item #8, well after lunch) to discuss Guindon’s report. Perhaps GOAC should overnight an invitation to Jason Gant to seek his perspective on these discrepancies as well.
And hey! Attorney General Jackley! If the disappearance of one old flag warrants criminal charges, may we anticipate similar prosecution for the disappearance of expensive electronic tablets and tens of thousands of dollars?