Plain Talk: Former North Dakota auditor weighs in on audit controversy


MINOT, N.D. — A war of words between state Auditor Josh Gallion, a Republican, and members of his own party in the state Legislature has made a lot of headlines of late.

Gallion has accused lawmakers of being “corrupt” for allegedly targeting a member of his office for specific termination and for legislation he says undermines his ability to do his job.

Lawmakers say it was actually Gallion who requested that the employee be fired , and that they’re responding from complaints from local government entities, including a western North Dakota ambulance service which has now filed an ethics complaint against the auditor’s office , who say that Gallion isn’t doing his job right.

On this episode of Plain Talk Gordy Smith, a 36-year veteran of the state auditor’s office under Gallion’s predecessors, weighs in on the controversy.

Was it appropriate for Gallion to write an op-ed for the state’s media outlets blasting lawmakers as corrupt? “Absolutely not,” Smith said. “When I read the op-ed, the first two words that came to mind were ‘unprofessional’ and ‘disrespectful,'” Smith said.

As for the legislature targeting a specific employee in the auditor’s office, Smith says he believes the lawmakers and not Gallion. “There’s no doubt in my mind,” he said, adding that he spoke to both Gallion and legislative leaders about the issue in 2017 when it happened.

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