Becky Otto’s “capricious” lawsuit suffered a final defeat today when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against her. In their ruling, the Court wrote that “The Constitution … ‘does not expressly detail the duties of the constitutional executive officers’ of state government and are instead ‘prescribed by law.'”
If that sounds familiar, you’ve been reading what I’ve written on the subject. In February, 2016, I wrote “Article V of Minnesota’s Constitution talks about the executive branch of state government. Specifically, it says ‘The executive department consists of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor, and attorney general, who shall be chosen by the electors of the state. The governor and lieutenant governor shall be chosen jointly by a single vote applying to both offices in a manner prescribed by law.’ Nowhere in Article V, Section 1 does it outline the duties of the State Auditor. That’s properly left up to the legislature and governor to determine through state statutes.”
Had Ms. Otto listened to me then, she would’ve saved Minnesota taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Sarah Anderson, the chairwoman of the State Government Finance Committee, said she was not surprised by the court’s unanimous ruling.
Rather than conceding defeat, Otto issued a non sequitur statement, saying “The Supreme Court has now made clear that the State Auditor has authority and responsibility over county finances, including the authority to conduct additional examinations of a county following a private CPA firm audit, and that the counties are responsible for the costs.” It’s an odd statement considering the fact that nobody questioned whether the OSA had the authority to audit counties.
The fact that it was a unanimous ruling against Mrs. Otto says that it’s quite the public spanking for her. This should get every taxpayer upset:
Republican lawmakers have criticized Otto’s use of taxpayer money to fight the law. A tally last year showed her legal bills at over $250,000.