A Nebraska state senator wants an audit of Gov. Pete Ricketts’ administration’s unsuccessful effort to buy lethal injection drugs from India.
State Sen. Burke Harr of Omaha says the Department of Corrections spent $54,400 a year and a half ago with nothing to show for it.
“It seems peculiar to me that we would give $54,000 without a contract, and then when the other party isn’t able to deliver, that we would just be willing to walk away,” Harr tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Apparently Harris Pharma offered something, Harr says, and the state paid for it.
“If he hasn’t delivered it,” Harr asks, “why hasn’t he and why haven’t we gotten our money back?”
State Auditor Charlie Janssen says another senator already requested an audit on the lethal injection drugs transaction.
“It is an ongoing examination right now,” Janssen tells Nebraska Radio Network, “so there’s really not a whole lot we can say about it.”
His office has posed some initial questions to the Department of Corrections and Harris Pharma, among others, and it is awaiting responses.
Until those answers come in, Janssen says he cannot predict a timeline for launching an audit or not.
“Sooner is always better than later in our eyes,” Janssen says.
To Harr and others with questions, the situation might be a good example of buyer beware.
“Anytime you have to go to a third party in India that you don’t know, instead of going directly to a drug maker,” Harr says, “that should probably raise a red flag as to what you’re doing.”
A copy of Harr’s letter to Janssen is below: