Former Commerce Head Calls Failed Audit “Netflix-Grade Content,” Blasts State Auditor

BISMARCK, ND — In a meeting with the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review Committee Thursday, former Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer blasted auditor Josh Gallion for abusing his office and wasting “likely hundreds of thousands of dollars” in order to “make a stage for himself.” Kommer spoke at about 11:58 on the recording.

After the process, “he refused to meet with me,” Kommer said, adding that Gallion did not attend the exit meeting, a standard for professional conduct in auditing. Kommer said North Dakota statutes were “mocked” throughout the process. The auditor has a “character problem” and his work product is a “disappointment to the profession,” she said. The attack on her department stressed her staff and resulted in one member who is a combat veteran, having a relapse of post-traumatic stress disorder, she said. The auditor’s office should be one that “creates value instead of terror,” she said.

Patrick Hart, Dem-NPL candidate for auditor, said

“The auditor’s job is to ensure proper processes and procedures are followed to prevent, waste, fraud, and abuse of our tax dollars. My opponent abused his power to go around the law, avoided performing his duty, and sought to manipulate state law in some kind of political game to make headlines for himself. He hurt state employees and wasted tax dollars. The auditor should create value and engage with public employees, so our tax dollars are spent wisely. That is exactly why I am running.”

About Patrick Hart

Patrick Hart grew up on a farm in Pembina, North Dakota, where he learned his work ethic and commitment to integrity. He is a former auditor for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the North Dakota Public Service Commission. He is also a small business owner, serving as managing partner in a successful contracting business in Bismarck.