Monday, November 26, 2007

It's never the mistake, it's always the cover-up 

For those who thought the Mark Ritchie story was no big deal, the price of poker just went up.
The state's legislative auditor is racheting up his investigation of Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie after a response Ritchie's office provided proved "unreliable" regarding allegations of inappropriate use of a mailing list generated through an official program.

As a consequence, the legislative auditor will be requiring Ritchie and members of his staff to submit to questioning under oath, an unusual step in legislative audit investigations.

Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles said today his office will continue working on several other investigations but will proceed quickly into the Ritchie probe.

D.J. Tice of the StarTribune says this is no trifling matter:
Nobles is one of the most widely respected figures in Minnesota state government. When he calls someone�s responses �unreliable� and �belated� that someone may have some explaining to do.
Tice provides a copy of Nobles' letter to the Legislative Audit Commission.

The idea (for example from DFL chair Brian Melendez) that this is just Republicans hounding Ritchie is thus quite wrong. Michael of course is reporting on this. Perhaps others can now give credit where it is due: MDE has struck paydirt.

UPDATE (10:30pm): Brunswick story moved on us -- here's an alternate link that works just now. Not up on the STrib's main page.

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