Gov. Pete Ricketts says he is satisfied with the steps the Department of Economic Development has taken to address problems raised in a state audit.
State Economic Development Director Courtney Dentlinger has added personnel to tighten financial controls and more thoroughly document expenses as advised by the audit.
Ricketts says Dentlinger has react appropriately.
“I think those steps and what Courtney describes as process changes will address the audit findings,” Ricketts tells Nebraska Radio Network. “So, I think there are things we can do. They’re not going to be necessarily difficult things to do, but we do have to make the steps to do it and Courtney’s on top of it.”
The state audit covered 2015, before Dentlinger was hired as economic development director.
The audit actually criticized a lack of documentation for the settlement reached with former Economic Development Director Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, who Dentlinger replaced.
Ricketts sees nothing wrong with the exit arrangement which cost the state $14,286.
“This is actually something that is pretty common in business as a way to resolve when you’re making a separation as we did with Brenda,” according to Ricketts. “I think that the steps we took were appropriate. If in the future, if we need to look at ways to improve on the documentation we’ll take the steps to do that, too.”
Ricketts didn’t have a problem with the severance package.
“No, I did not. I think, again, it was a way for us to make the separation and for us to be held harmless from a legal standpoint with regard to it.”