A MNGOP executive committee member calls for wider audit

One of the members of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s executive committee says he’s going to push for a compete audit of the party’s finances. Party leaders announced today that the MNGOP could be facing a debt of nearly $2 million. They were careful, however, to say that it was a financial review of the party’s books and not an audit to see whether payments were appropriate.

Rick Weible, who sits on the 14 member executive committee, says he wants an audit done to ensure that donations to the party were appropriately spent.

“I don’t have a warm and fuzzy feeling that everything is on the up and up,” Weible told MPR News. “I can be completely in the wrong here but I’m not comfortable because a review has not been completed that gives me at least a comfortable feeling.”

Weible also said he confronted MNGOP Treasurer/Secretary David Sturrock about the party’s finances earlier this week. He said Sturrock told the executive committee that he didn’t know the true extent of the debt because he didn’t have all of the party’s financial information.

“He basically stated that the invoices were hidden from him, he didn’t review them and he didn’t review bank statements,” Weible said. “He then threw out a weak argument that distance was an issue.”

Weible’s comments were confirmed by other members of the executive committee. Sturrock, who lives in Marshall, did not return calls to MPR News. (Update: Sturrock resigned after this post was written).

Party leaders say they’ll wait to see what the delegates and the new party chair want to do before considering a full audit.

Delegates are scheduled to elect a new chair tomorrow in St. Cloud. The three candidates for chair, Pat Shortridge, Terry McCall and Todd McIntyre did not return calls to MPR News to discuss the party’s finances.