HARRISBURG – At a Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Tuesday afternoon, Senator Scott Wagner (R-York) questioned Inspector General Bruce Beemer about the costs and reasons to hide a report the OIG compiled at the request of Governor Tom Wolf on Lieutenant Governor Stack’s abuse of staff.
Wagner specifically asked General Beemer about why the report on the lieutenant governor was not made public. Beemer deferred to Governor Wolf.
When discussing costs, General Beemer highlighted that the investigation was conducted by six to 10 investigators over four to five weeks in the spring of 2017. Beemer could not, however, pinpoint a specific dollar amount the investigation cost taxpayers.
Wagner noted that the OIG can tell you how much it saves taxpayers for every dollar invested, but said it is ridiculous that the Office could not cite how much one investigation cost taxpayers.
“First, the OIG should be commended for their transparency in every other aspect except this specific instance. Despite their best efforts, the OIG should be able to answer simple questions like how much was devoted to pay for a single investigation. Furthermore, I fail to see how the OIG can publicly post a summary of 2017 investigations into state employee misconducts, yet the governor’s right-hand-man is somehow off limits,” Wagner said.
“Something stinks and the taxpayers have a right to know,” he added. “In every annual report the OIG has released since Wolf took office, the governor made transparency a hallmark. It is unfortunate he has handcuffed the OIG from doing what they do best – sharing with taxpayers the abuse and misconduct in state government.”
Senator Wagner recently introduced Senate Bill 1018, which would subject OIG reports requested by the governor and members of the General Assembly to the state’s Right to Know Law. Read more about Senator Wagner’s effort to increase transparency here.