Sarah Huckabee Sanders Lecterngate Audit Released, Several Law Violations Listed

Sister Sarah Says Laws Don't Apply to Her Office

An Arkansas Legislative Audit report was released on Monday, revealing several violations of state laws and irregularities with Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ purchase of a $19,000 lectern.

Auditors referred the findings of their investigation to a prosecutor’s office that oversees Little Rock to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

The podium was purchased for $19,020.00, which was nearly double the estimate that was initially provided to the Governor’s office by the company. The investigation noted that both the company and Governor Sanders refused to sit down for an interview with them to note some of the discrepancies in the billing, which included a $2,500 “consulting fee.” The Governor’s office did issue a statement that it was a custom podium designed to fit the height corresponding to Sanders’ elbows, which she likes to rest on podiums.

At the time, the governor’s office had a purchase card with a balance of more than $440,000 for “transition services.” The purchase was made with that card, meaning it was paid for with public funds. After the purchase came to light, the Republican Party of Arkansas reimbursed the governor’s office. 

The report noted several violations of Arkansas law, including:

1. The podium was paid for before it was delivered.

2. It was applied to “operating expenses” which does not include equipment purchases.

3. The state agency that monitors government purchases was never notified.

4. The bill of lading was shredded by the Governor’s office.

5. There were three different invoices that all appeared to conflict with each other.

Sanders says the rules she is said to have broken don’t apply to the governor’s office.

Sanders’ office called the audit’s findings “deeply flawed,” a “waste of taxpayer resources and time,” and said the laws on purchasing and property cited only apply to state agencies, not constitutional officers. 

The Republican Attorney General Tim Griffin released a similar statement.

“I am perplexed to see that a significant portion of Legislative Audit’s analysis rests on the mistaken conclusion that the governor’s office is a ‘state agency’ for the purposes of certain statutes,” Griffin said Monday in a written statement.

NPR, Meidas Touch