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Commentary: The public deserves details about the cost of Governor Burgum’s security

Gov. Doug Burgum, left, and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, right, convene the Industrial Commission meeting at the state Capitol in Bismarck on Thursday. On the right is Karlene Fine, the commission's executive director. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

For a while now there has been a lot of hot gossip in North Dakota’s capitol building about Governor Doug Burgum’s travel expenses and his security expenses. The rumors hold that Burgum has traveled excessively and often has an excessive security detail in tow.

State Auditor Josh Gallion, to his credit, took a look at travel expenses in the governor’s office and found some relatively minor problems that can seemingly be fixed with better record keeping. But the issue of Burgum’s security expenses wasn’t something the auditor’s office was able to answer sufficiently.

At least not to the public. The state’s auditors got details about Burgum’s security detail (click through to read the new report) but according to the report they can’t make what details they got public. They said they found “no issues” with the information they were provided, but the taxpayers aren’t allowed to know what’s going on.

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