Associated Press Published

Audit Finds Mismangement of Agriculture Department's Loan Program


The results of a preliminary legislative audit have found evidence of mismanagement of a $5 million revolving loan program administered by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

The Charleston Gazette reports that auditors found that 25 of 40 outstanding Rural Rehabilitation Loan Program loans are delinquent. Moreover, in nearly half the loans audited, there was no evidence of any effort to collect on delinquent loans.
The audit also found evidence of potential conflicts of interest between the former commissioner of Agriculture, Gus Douglass, and either the loan committee or loan recipients.

The audit did not elaborate on the conflicts or identify the loan recipients.
Currently, the fund has about $1 million, with about $4 million in loans outstanding.