A top U.S. election official improperly claimed mileage and travel expenses, intentionally skirted oversight of government credit card expenses and wasted taxpayer funds while at his former job as an elections commissioner in Kansas, according to an audit released Thursday.
Brian Newby was hired in November as executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and the “transitional audit” of the Johnson County Election Office covers the last five years of his 11-year tenure as the county’s election commissioner.
Newby called the audit “inaccurate, very misleading, very incomplete” and said he didn’t get to review it before it was released.
The scathing audit of Newby’s fiscal management while at the Kansas job is the latest controversy to dog him since he took over the helm of the EAC. Newby infuriated voting rights advocates when he decided without public notice or review from his agency’s commissioners that residents of Alabama, Kansas and Georgia can no longer register to vote using a federal form without providing proof of U.S. citizenship. Voting rights groups last month sued him and the EAC over the move, saying it hurts voter registration drives and deprives eligible voters of the right to vote.