State auditor calls MOHELA spending ‘excessive’

Thursday, October 11, 2007 | 1:32 p.m. CDT; updated 9:52 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — State Auditor Susan Montee said a recent audit of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority shows that the agency misused public funds. Montee described spending for severance benefits, bonuses, vacation time and holiday parties as “excessive.”

Montee discussed the findings of her audit – the first since the authority was established in 1981 – in a news conference Thursday at her office at the Capitol building in Jefferson City. MOHELA provides loans to Missouri students.

Both Montee and a MOHELA official said that there have been some improvements since the audit began but that there are still changes to be made.

Gov. Matt Blunt has strongly supported selling the assets of the loan authority to help fund education construction projects. In May, Blunt signed a bill allowing the partial sale of assets.

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