Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee will conduct an audit of the Agriculture Department following State Treasurer Sarah Steelman's announcement she had stopped payment on a $70,000 payoff check to a former employee who charged Director Fred Ferrell with sexual harassment:
State Treasurer Sarah Steelman's office said Tuesday that the check had been authorized Feb. 5 out of an Agriculture Department fund for "equipment and expenses" and processed by the treasurer's office two days later. State departments routinely certify that their own payments are proper.
"I have questions about the way this was done," said Montee, a Democrat. "One of the issues surrounds the approval of expenditures."
Ferrell was forced to resign Monday at Gov. Matt Blunt's request.