Becker County was one of three counties sued over a new law that allows counties to have their audits conducted by private certified public accountant firms instead of being audited by the State Auditor. Becker County paid the office of state auditor approximately $84,000 for last year's audit. The last private audit of the County was at a cost of $32,000 by an independent auditing firm.
"We don't understand why the State Auditor named Becker County in the suit as more than 50 Minnesota counties refused to sign a three year contract with the state auditor's office. We did execute a one year agreement with the State Auditor as required under the new law," Ingstad said.
The state Constitution does not explicitly outline the duties of the state auditor, an office that the duties are set by the legislature. The legislature restructured the state auditor's office in the 70's giving them the duties to audit counties. "Now the legislature is changing those duties again. I wish this dispute could be settled in the Capitol instead of dragging us into a court battle," said Ingstad.