Kansas lawmaker seeks review of ex-commerce secretary’s work

File - Antonio Soave.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A Democratic state senator is asking the Kansas Legislature’s audit division to evaluate whether a former commerce secretary followed state law and procedure in awarding agency consulting contracts and when charging business expenses.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley told the Topeka Capital-Journal on Friday that the Legislature’s oversight committee was expected to authorize the review of Antonio Soave, who led the Kansas Department of Commerce for about 18 months until June.

Gov. Sam Brownback, who appointed Soave, had praised Soave when he left the administration. But the governor’s office later confirmed Soave was fired partly over questions about state contracts.

Soave has said he resigned by mutual agreement with the Brownback administration. He also defended the agency’s consulting contracts.

The Kansas City Star first reported that at least nine Soave associates landed contracts during Soave’s 18 months as secretary.


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