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Two Montana regents pay back state after ’embarrassing’ audit

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An audit found that the Commissioner of Higher Education's office was overspending on expenses including hotel stays and chartered flights. PHOTO BY NICOLAS HENDERSON

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MISSOULA – At least two members of the Montana Board of Regents have reimbursed the state after an audit found the Commissioner of Higher Education’s office overspent on hotels, travel and meals.

The Missoulian reports regents Bob Nystuen and Casey Lozar paid for second-night hotel stays after a 2018 board meeting held before the Montana-Montana State rivalry football game

Those were among the expenses legislative auditors found were an abuse of state resources. At least one lawmaker has described the audit’s findings as embarrassing.

Commissioner Clayton Christian says he is calling on everyone to be efficient and effective with state resources.

Auditors say Christian took a chartered flight from Helena to Glasgow and also flew from Missoula to Billings, at a total cost of nearly $5,000 over the most economical mode of travel.

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