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Kansas Lawmakers Block Audit on Former Commerce Secretary

Antonio Soave at a meeting in 2016. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Kansas lawmakers have decided not to move forward with audits looking into allegations against former Kansas Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave. The audits would have examined state contracts he handed out while leading the agency. Media reports revealed Soave had given contracts to friends and business partners.

Democratic Senator Anthony Hensley wanted to move forward with the audits and says lawmakers should find out whether Soave's actions were improper.

“These are, if not unethical, could even be illegal actions that he took. That’s why I thought it was important that the post auditors have an opportunity to look into these allegations,” Hensley says.

Republicans on the committee argued Soave may have made bad decisions, but they didn’t appear illegal. They said the state attorney general could investigate any potential crimes.

After initially announcing Soave's resignation, Governor Sam Brownback later said he actually fired the secretary.

Soave has said he followed existing policies when he was in the job and resigned by mutual agreement with the governor.

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