Auditor’s office to review Kinder’s travel reimbursements

Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich’s office announced this week it will audit Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder’s travel reimbursements.

Kinder wrote a check to the state for $52,320 on Tuesday after reports that the state gave him more than $35,000 for hotel stays and food for his St. Louis visits.

Schweich accepted $220,000 in contributions from Kinder for his 2010 auditor campaign and has recused himself from the audit process. Audits are not typically done by the auditor himself, but one or more of his staff members.

The Democratic Party requested an audit of how much Kinder should have to give back to the state. The auditor’s office held a conference call Thursday afternoon to discuss the audit. It was led by Harry Otto, a deputy auditor who said he gave Kinder $200 in 2004 for his campaign. He added that such a small amount does not necessitate that he should recuse himself from the audit.

Otto said the audit will check the numbers on how much Kinder owes the state, and for what.

“He’s indicated that he doesn’t need to pay this back, but he is paying it back, and we just feel an obligation to check the calculation …,” Otto said. “(W)e have not been asked by any state official, we have not been asked by friends or foes, to conduct this audit.”

– Missouri Digital News