AP NEWS

Stapleton used state truck to telework, not commute

June 26, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on an audit of travel by the Montana Secretary of State (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The deputy secretary of state told lawmakers Secretary of State Corey Stapleton used a state vehicle to travel to his family home in Billings to “telework” and legislative auditors were incorrect in saying he used the vehicle for commuting — which would violate state law.

The Legislative Audit Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the audit, which found Stapleton put nearly 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) on a state-owned pickup truck to travel to Billings, costing over $5,700.

Christi Jacobsen repeatedly told the committee “the vehicle was used for teleworking.”

Democratic state Sen. Mary McNally questioned the credibility of that explanation.

Auditors forwarded information about the apparent misuse of the vehicle to the attorney general. The Division of Criminal Investigation asked the Helena Police Department to investigate.

Police Chief Steve Hagen did not immediately return a call Wednesday.

1:10 p.m.

The chief of staff for Montana’s secretary of state told lawmakers Corey Stapleton used a state vehicle to travel to his family home in Billings to “telework” and legislative auditors were incorrect in saying he used the vehicle for commuting — which would violate state law.

The Legislative Audit Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the audit, which found Stapleton put nearly 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) on a state-owned pickup truck to travel to Billings, costing over $5,700.

Christi Jacobson repeatedly told the committee “the vehicle was used for teleworking.”

Democratic state Sen. Mary McNally questioned the credibility of that explanation.

Auditors forwarded information about the apparent misuse of the vehicle to the attorney general. The Division of Criminal Investigation asked the Helena Police Department to investigate.

Police Chief Steve Hagen did not immediately return a call Wednesday.

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