CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Legislative auditors say the state's $38 million expansion of a statewide microwave communications network ignored West Virginia purchasing laws.
Media outlets report that Legislative Auditor Aaron Allred released his office's findings Tuesday during an interim legislative committee meeting.
The audit says the state grant implementation team didn't seek competitive bids for the tower project. Instead, they used a Lewis County Commission contract to authorize Premier Construction as the contractor. The county had hired Premier in 2009 to build one microwave tower in Roanoke.
State rules allow purchases from contracts issued by other public bodies. But the audit says state Purchasing Director David Tincher wasn't asked to approve using Lewis County's contract for the state project.
According to the audit, Tincher advised state officials to stop the towers' construction.