A Kansas prosecutor is looking into allegations of misuse of public funds against a top U.S. election executive when he was a county election commissioner in the state, two county officials confirmed Monday. Johnson County spokeswoman Sharon Watson said that the county had concerns over the findings of an audit completed after Brian Newby left Kansas to take a job as executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in November last year. The federal commission was created in part to help make voting easier but advocates have said Newby has worked for restrictions. “It was appropriate for us to inform the district attorney of what we were finding in the audit and provide him with that information,” Watson said.
District Attorney Stephen Howe said in an email that his office “has and will continue to work with Johnson County Government to review Mr. Newby’s conduct while serving as Johnson County Election Commissioner.”
Newby said in an email to The Associated Press that it would be wrong to say that he is under criminal investigation. He has called the audit findings “inaccurate, incomplete and misleading.”
The review by the county auditor found that in Newby’s previous job he intentionally skirted oversight of government credit card expenses, improperly claimed mileage and travel expenses, and wasted taxpayer funds. Auditors found Newby used the government card of the assistant commissioner, in effect allowing him to approve most of his own expenditures rather than submit them to the county manager.