The Nebraska Tourism Commission has suspended the organization’s executive director.
A spokesperson for the Commission says Kathy McKillip is suspended with pay while a committee investigates findings from an unfavorable state audit.
Governor Pete Ricketts and others have called on McKillip to step down or be fired.
State Auditor Charlie Janssen says the audit discloses the Nebraska Tourism Commission has spent $4.4 million dollars over its budget since it became independent in 2012.
Questionable spending revealed by the audit includes $18,000 paid to move an employee from Sidney to Kearney and $44,000 paid to the main speaker as a tourism conference in Kearney with others receiving $9,000 for shorter presentations.
Janssen says the spending of the independent commission is out of line with normal state spending practices.
The commission was established as an independent commission overseen by a board of directors in 2012. Gov. Ricketts is calling for the tourism arm of the state to be accountable to his office.