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bd477

Audit: Minn. DNR Misspent $300,000

33 posts in this topic

Quote:
ST. PAUL (AP) ― The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources misspent $300,000 in state money when it helped host a wildlife enforcement officers conference last year, a state audit has found.

The report, by the Office of the Legislative Auditor, also found that the DNR failed to follow state and agency policies.

The report recommends that the DNR work with the state attorney general's office to get back $76,600 in profit earned by the Minnesota Conservation Officer Association and the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association, two officer groups who organized the conference.

The audit criticized the DNR for "implicitly" allowing fundraising for the conference -- even though such fundraising is against state law because of a conflict of interest. Money for the conference was donated by businesses and sporting good retailers, which the auditor said is a conflict of interest under state law.

Two DNR enforcement managers, Mike Hamm and his wife, Cathy Hamm, have been on paid leave since mid-May during the investigation. Mike Hamm is chief of the enforcement division, and Cathy Hamm is head of enforcement in the metro area. Cathy Hamm said the audit proves she did nothing wrong.

The audit does not place direct blame on either of the Hamms, but points out wrong decisions throughout the agency and in the commissioner's office.

"I definitely believe I should be reinstated," Cathy Hamm told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Cathy Hamm said she and her husband, though they don't working directly together, were unfairly targeted during the investigation. Mike Hamm was not available for comment, the Pioneer Press said.

DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten has said he would take final responsibility for any wrongdoing associated with the conference, which took place in St. Paul in July 2007. The DNR has not finished its internal investigation, Holsten said.

http://wcco.com/local/dnr.misspent.funding.2.805289.html

confusedconfused

I don't know what to say I'm at a loss for words.

Money could have been spent elsewhere.

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Wow, and they want us to vote to give them more money??

This is a classic case study of why the vote in November is wrong. I know there is another thread discussing the vote, but this really helps tie it all together and illustrates why people like myself have doubts whether the money will be properly handled.

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I am at a loss too!

Here is a link to the legislative audit.

http://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/fad/pdf/fad0821.pdf

The other thing the Commissioner should be ashamed of is that he pulled all of his officers out of the field to attend this conference. There was more than one CO that spoke up and said this was wrong. A WHOLE state open to people that wanted to break the law.

Shame on you DNR. shocked

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I wonder how the libs. will put their spin on this one? Another fine example of why we need less government in our lives and less taxes to pay for this kind of garbage. Do you folks still want to vote yes for that frivolous bill???

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So how many hundreds would I have to spend (at 37 cents per hundred) to hit the $300,000. Hmmmmm, yep, we need more taxes right?????

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I wonder how the libs. will put their spin on this one?

Why would the Libs put spin on something that was done by a DNR commissioner appointed by a Republican?

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Also, not sure how this relates to constitutional amendment as NONE of that money goes to the DNR? confused

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Also, not sure how this relates to constitutional amendment as NONE of that money goes to the DNR? confused

I think it was brought up to show how fiscally responsible the gov't can be with our money.

The money isn't going to go to the DNR???

From a pamphlet sitting in front of me as I type, and I qoute......

"Your outdoors. Your outdoor Amendment.

Implementation of long range plans for waterfowl pheasant, grouse, turkey, big game, Wildlife Management Areas(WMA's) and conservation.

Replenishment of our fisheries resources, aquatic management areas and trout stream restoration.

Restoring native grasslands and wetland habitat benefiting pheasants, waterfowl, prairie chicken, wild turkey, deer and non game wildlife... ".

Sounds to me like one way or the other the DNR is going to getting their hands on this money at sometime.

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It's too bad it happened. Started out with the best intention, but something got hung up in the production. Our CO's have really tough jobs in any case, now this. Let's all try to keep things positive - can't believe there was any bad intent with this conference - just too bad.

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Where does it say it is going directly to the DNR? The citizen's council would decide where the money goes. It's up to that group if a DNR office applies for monies towards a grassland restoration project or the Lake Wobegone Association wants to received grant money toward purchasing an aquatic management area.

Could the DNR get some money? Yes, but they better have a good plan that lays out how the money is spent or that citizen's council will reject it like Dikembe Mutombo.

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I do not think this was a case of purposely mis-spending $300,000; rather it was two people in the DNR office who had the best intentions on putting together a decent seminar.

I read this 3 months ago and did not think it was a big deal. The $300,000 was offset by the attendance of other CO's from across the country - it made MN look better and made some solid connections.

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No, no, no, Chub.....Don't you understand the special interest groups are getting all the dough?? Not the DNR. Why do you think they are all pushing for the amendment?? Silly you, Chub. wink

Now instead of having a little oversight of this money we'll have absolutely none. Doesn't that give you the warm and fuzzies to know your money will be getting spent like a drunken sailor on a weekend pass if the amendment passes?

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The money for dedicated funding would have an oversight comittee that would include citizens. I would believe that the comittee wouldn't allow a project like this to come out of that.

This is definitely a bad deal. Mike Hamm should have known better and should be fired. The Gov. should take Holsten on a trip to the wood shed. It appears that Holsten should take a number of individuals to the wood shed also (Mlynar's involvement appears sketchy having a food business that was used for the conference).

This is a failure within upper management of the DNR. I certainly hope the fallout doesn't trickle down to the people on the ground, especially in other program areas, who do an excellent job of managing the state's natural resources.

Hopefully some of the cost can be recovered (like the $76K profit the report cited) without expending a ton of money to do so (a.k.a. hopefully it doesn't cost the Attourney General's office tens of thousands to get back the money)

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why is it than whenever government mismanages money they never mismanage it into my bank account??

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why is it than whenever government mismanages money they never mismanage it into my bank account??

That plan is coming out soon!

LOL

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why is it than whenever government mismanages money they never mismanage it into my bank account??

laughgrinlaugh

Thanks T.J., I got a good chuckle out of that.

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Yes chub, SIGs like Greenpeace will get your money wink

Has anyone here ever applied for an environmental grant or special money? How about a college scholarship? Seems to work for universities, scholarship boards, NGOs, and state agencies to require proposals that include specific plans with dates, goals, and budgets. Jaded doesn't begin to describe one that can't trust fellow outdoor constituents on the committee to read through a pile of applications and make a prudent decision. Gov't isn't all scam, corruption, and inefficiency as some would lead you to believe.

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Gov't isn't all scam, corruption, and inefficiency as some would lead you to believe.

Thanks. I needed a good belly-laugh to end the week!

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Yes chub, SIGs like Greenpeace will get your money wink

Has anyone here ever applied for an environmental grant or special money? How about a college scholarship? Seems to work for universities, scholarship boards, NGOs, and state agencies to require proposals that include specific plans with dates, goals, and budgets. Jaded doesn't begin to describe one that can't trust fellow outdoor constituents on the committee to read through a pile of applications and make a prudent decision. Gov't isn't all scam, corruption, and inefficiency as some would lead you to believe.

Ya see da_chise, it's like this... we're talking a WHOLE lot of money involved here. Not to say there wouldn't be some prudent decisions made, but when your talking about a WHOLE lot of money up for grabs, Gov't., special interests et. al., there always seems to be some type of "corruption and inefficiency" involved.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not 100% against this thing yet. I'm quite undecieded. At this point, I'm leaning against it, but we'll see.

...Thing that gets me is, we're talking about throwing a WHOLE lot of money at something, that we've been supposedly paying for all along. There's no doubt that some good things will come of this. But it's the Pandoras box aspect of it that worries me.

What's the money going to do? Is it going to plug drain tiles? Get farmers(big business), to change their practices? Stock more walleyes in duck sloughs? Build a paved bike trail through Hunterville swamp? "Clean up our waters", ...drain them all and scrape all the mercury tainted sediment off the bottom?

It would be nice to see what they plan to accomplish, aside from generalities.

Gov't isn't all scam, corruption, and inefficiency as some would lead you to believe.

This thing started as a FUBU(lol), for us, by us, deal. There were those in the Gov't that said no way, not without our share(see Arts and Cultural Heritage). Not really a scam, not really corruption, not really inefficiency, but something about that isn't right.

Money and Politics...

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What's the money going to do?

It would be nice to see what they plan to accomplish, aside from generalities.

I would think it's a little tough for the government to go out on a limb and set up a plan on exactly what and where the money will precisely go to when it's still up in the air as to whether or not the money will even be there.

I beleive that's what the OVERSIGHT committee will be for. To PROPERLY distribute the money to those that have a solid plan in place on how it will be spent.

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An oversight committee made up of citizens *cough* appointed by politicians.

Yeah, sure....

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Do you think that in order to make the committee one would have to be a bobblehead? Yes...yes...yes...yes...yes...yes...

Bob

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