State auditors will set a time to announce findings of a sweeping review of the Department of Agriculture under former Commissioner Richie Farmer by the end of the week, Auditor Adam Edelen’s office confirmed today.
Stephenie Steitzer, spokeswoman for Edelen, said the office will announce Friday when it will release its findings of the audit, which began in mid-January.
Newly elected Agriculture Commissioner James Comer called for a wide-ranging audit days after he took office. Concerns over state credit cards, travel vouchers, time sheets and employee morale prompted the request.
Farmer, who served eight years as commissioner, has come under fire in recent years over his use of state funds, including a $10,000 trip to a Caribbean convention, personal use of state vehicles, buying two big-screen TVs and refrigerators, hiring his girlfriend and her friend at the department, and hotel stays during the Boys Sweet Sixteen tournament in Lexington and the state fair in Louisville.
He has denied any wrongdoing in his handling of state funds.