HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania Auditor General Tim DeFoor (R) would rather be looking at the books than talking to a crowd. But on Monday, DeFoor appeared at a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg and discussed a number of topics that have become controversial.
First of all, he says, he’s the unluckiest of winners of a statewide row office. He said he’s shy and grew up disliking math. But said he was struck as a kid when an uncle asked, after looking at his paycheck, what is the government doing with all my money? That stuck with DeFoor and helped shape his future career.
He knows that some people still question the outcome of the 2020 election and some people want him to audit it. He addressed it head-on and was crystal clear. “The election has been certified,” DeFoor said slowly with emphasis. “The state and federal courts have ruled My department has moved on to do the work which we are statutorily required to do.”
DeFoor said if lawmakers were to pass a law requiring the auditor general to audit elections he’d need more money and subpoena power, which his office doesn’t have. He also added scope would be limited to how elections are conducted. “It will not certify, recount, or audit results,” DeFoor said.
The guy who watches state money says the state isn’t giving him enough of it to get the job done. DDeFoor said funding is at 1997 levels, hampering his ability to look at things like the handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. “Somebody’s gonna need to take a look at that,” DeFoor said. “We’re ready to do that but it’s gonna be extremely difficult at our current funding level.”
He was asked if rampant fraud or exploitation of unemployment compensation dollars is a concern. “That’s something definitely on our radar,” DeFoor said. “With regards to what we’re gonna do and how we’re gonna do it, I’m not ready to discuss that yet. But we are definitely, definitely looking at it.”
A deep dice and report on Governor Wolf’s much-maligned and controversial business waiver program is close to fruition. “By the end of the summer we will have the audit complete,” DeFoor, the state’s 52nd auditor general, but it’s very first person of color said.