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Pence taps new auditor: Democrats outraged

Governor Pence taps a new auditor as Tim Berry steps down from the position.

Political controversy is brewing in our state capitol.  Governor Mike Pence tapped a new auditor, as Tim Berry steps down from the position to focus solely on running the Republican Party here in the Hoosier state. 

However, Democrats say Berry is guilty of political conflict of interest because he was being paid as the auditor but also serving as the GOP’s leader. 

“The question here really is about what we voted and hired Tim Berry to do, and the appearance of what he's doing.   If we hired him to be the state auditor then what is he doing running the state Republic Party? It doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Andrew Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics.   

Tim Berry recently stepped down as auditor to take over as the head of The GOP party, but as Governor Mike Pence was looking for a new auditor, Berry continued to get paid as the auditor, while he also served as the Republican Party leader.    This didn’t sit well with some tax payers and democrats, citing a   conflict of interest.

“Three weeks I believe since the time that chairman Berry was appointed, so that three weeks took a little longer than our liking where he was doing duel duty,” said John Court, Allen County Democratic Chair.   

Republican Senator Tom Wyss says there was no wrong doing.

“I think people of Northeast Indiana who know Tim Berry as well as people throughout the state don't think there was any real conflict--but this is politics,” said Wyss. 

Downs says along with questioning the potential conflict of interest, tax payers should also take a closer look at the amount time Pence took before tapping Dwayne Sawyer as Indiana’s Auditor.

“If people are looking to place blame here or talk about how somebody under performed so to speak it could be the governor,” said Downs. 

“Let me say it was a pretty tough choice.  We had some outstanding men and women that we interviewed from all over the state of Indiana for this position,” said Governor Pence. 

Sawyer steps into his new role after serving as the Town Council President of Brownsburg, IN. 

“I think we recognize that it is what it is but my focus is serving all the people of Indiana with distinction,” said Sawyer. 

 Indiana Democrats are asking the auditors office to release Berry's schedule and emails to see if he misused tax payer’s money to fund travel, appearances and other expenses while filling his role as the GOP Chairman. 

 

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