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Thu Nov 26, 2020, 05:43 AM

Audit details lack of oversight at New Mexico spaceport

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An audit made public Tuesday that was part of an investigation into the conduct of Spaceport America’s former chief executive details what officials call a severe breakdown of internal controls that resulted in possible taxpayer funding waste and abuse.

The report was released by the state auditor’s office after it was prepared by an independent forensic accounting and finalized in early November.

“People in positions of power more easily have the opportunity to misuse and abuse their authority," State Auditor Brian Colón said in a statement. "It is crucial we hold people in power accountable. The tone at the top must be transparent and committed to honesty, integrity, and accountability.”

Dan Hicks, who was appointed by spaceport authority board members in 2016 to lead Spaceport America, was placed on administrative leave earlier this year after former financial officer Zach De Gregorio accused him of circumventing internal financial controls and accounting procedures. De Gregorio later resigned, and Hicks was eventually fired.

Read more: https://hosted.ap.org/rdrnews/article/de0ab0c0ab2a5475f18371bad6ed49b0/audit-details-lack-oversight-new-mexico-spaceport

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