Sarah Huckabee Sanders Faces Scrutiny Over $19,000 Podium

( – The Arkansas Legislative Audit recently investigated Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders after her office purchased a $19,000 podium last year, and the audit found that violations of state law may have occurred.

The special audit was published on Tuesday, April 16th. The audit report, which covers the period of May 2023 to December 2023, found that the governor’s office potentially violated state law after buying a custom podium for Sanders. Some of her staff were also questioned in a hearing for almost three hours.

Some of those violations include labeling the purchase as part of “operating expenses” while not meeting that criteria and failing to notify the Arkansas Department of Transformation and Shared Services about the purchase so it could be properly recorded. The audit also found that state property was improperly disposed of without seeking the state procurement director’s exemption, and found that a bill of lading was shredded and alterations of records after they were already entered into state information systems, producing multiple versions of invoices.

The department may have also excluded invoices from payments made with Sanders’ office credit card.

State Attorney General Tim Griffin argued days before the publication of the report that Sanders was not subject to two specific laws, one dealing with accounting and budgetary procedures, and the other with how tax-supported institutions can use surplus funds to oversee property sales and purchases. Griffin argues that the first law doesn’t apply to the governor because she isn’t considered to be a state agency and that the second law doesn’t apply because it doesn’t specify that constitutional officers have to abide by it.

Last year, a spokesperson for Sanders dismissed the allegations over the podium as a “manufactured controversy.”

On Monday, April 15th, Sanders responded to the controversy by posting a video of the podium on social media ending with the phrase “Come and take it,” which is commonly used by gun-rights supporters.

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