Counties Can Now Hire Private Financial Firms for Audits

Will Save Counties Money

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Minnesota’s Court of Appeals has upheld a state law allowing counties to hire private firms for financial audits.

It’s the second such court ruling involving the Legislature’s 2015 law that ignited controversy. State Auditor Rebecca Otto challenged the law, arguing it was an unconstitutional breech of her duties that puts taxpayers at risk.

Republicans who spearheaded the change argued counties should be allowed to choose private audits that can be cheaper than the auditor’s services. A district court ruled last fall the change was constitutional, but Otto appealed.

The State Court of Appeals affirmed that ruling in a 2-1 decision Tuesday.

Otto’s office says she is still reviewing the decision. Otto has spent more than $250,000 fighting the law so far.

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