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Kansas Lawmakers Block Audit On Former Commerce Secretary

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo
Antonio Soave at a meeting in 2016.

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 Sen. 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," Hensley says. "That’s why I thought it was important that the post auditors have an opportunity to look into these allegations."

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, Gov. 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.


Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @KPRKoranda.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.