LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is calling for a legislative audit of the Forestry Commission's finances after a $4 million shortfall that prompted the layoff of 36 workers. The governor also indicated that the audit's findings may determine whether the agency's director still has his support.
Beebe said Thursday he wants legislative auditors to look at the agency's finances and why it improperly used federal funds to prop up its budget over the years. Beebe said last week he would ask the Legislature to use $2.7 million from the state's surplus to pay back the grants and keep the agency solvent through the year.
Beebe said he still has confidence in state forester John Shannon but said he wants answers on who knew about the use of the federal funds.
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