Delaware treasurer says travel audit clears his name

 Chip Flowers (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

Chip Flowers (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

Delaware State Treasurer Chip Flowers said a report released from the state auditor’s office clears him of any accusations that he misused his state credit card.

The Office of the Auditor of Accounts for the State of Delaware released an independent report today, showing how some elected officials, including Gov. Jack Markell, used their state-issued purchasing card for travel expenses.

“Various allegations and speculation surrounding specific Procurement Card (PCard) expenses precipitated the need for independent review,” said State Auditor Tom Wagner in a statement. “To provide a statewide context, the Office of Auditor of Account’s (AOA) inspection took into account how similarly placed elected and appointed State officials use their PCards.”

Flowers has been under scrutiny following a business trip he took to Alaska in 2012. Flowers was accused of using the card to go sightseeing with a coworker while attending the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) Annual Conference. According to the report, NAST reimbursed Flowers nearly $3,000 for the trip, which he then paid back to the state.

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“The findings of the report are crystal clear. I used my state credit card for only legitimate business expenses and never used the card for any personal expenses,” Flowers said. “Not a single penny.”

At the end of last year, Flowers attempted to set the record straight by releasing the travel documents for that trip. He also reimbursed the state an additional $876 for the trip.

“Despite public scrutiny and various reports to the contrary, we found that the treasury employees charged with internal control responsibility followed timely and appropriate procedures, which directly resulted in restitution to the state,” said Wagner.

Flowers is up for reelection this year and said he has had to spend all of his own money on campaigning in an effort to avoid any other confusion.

“I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of my own money, with zero fundraisers held this year, showing so I can govern without being tied to those who give heavy political contributions to impede the progress of this great state,” he said.

Flowers said he hopes the report will dispel any accusations that he misused his state credit card.

“This report not only supports the treasurer’s initial comments to the public, and clears my name, it disproves certain false claims and misleading statements.”

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