8:43am

Fri January 20, 2012
State Capitol

Former State Ag Commissioner Returns Some Equipment

Some of the Department of Agriculture’s unaccounted for state property has turned up, including equipment issued to former commissioner Richie Farmer.  It was previously reported that nearly $500,000 worth of state property was either missing or unaccounted for. This was partly blamed on poor record keeping by the department, but certain records showed Farmer still had several pieces of equipment, including laptop computers and GPS units.

Officials with new Agriculture Commissioner James Comer say Farmer has since returned some of that equipment, but not all. And some of the other missing equipment has since turned up.

Comer questioned the department’s practices after meeting with certain employees during his transition. He requested an audit last week of the department’s finances under Farmer’s administration. Comer has handed over the department’s records to state auditor Adam Edelen, and he said he hopes the audit is complete within six weeks.