INDIANAPOLIS | The Democratic candidate for state auditor believes a lack of transparency is concealing spending by Republican Gov. Mike Pence's Center for Education and Career Innovation, a new state agency that has clashed repeatedly with the Indiana Department of Education.
Mike Claytor, a Carmel accountant expected to challenge Republican State Auditor Dwayne Sawyer in 2014, claimed Wednesday that CECI and Sawyer are preventing oversight of the new agency by failing to detail CECI's budget, spending and salaries on the state's transparency portal.
"This new agency is high-profile and has stirred a lot of public comment. It should also be transparent and its finances and information should be available to everyone," Claytor said. "It should not be established in a way that a governmental auditor would question its cost."
Claytor said Pence's August executive order creating CECI violates traditional Indiana spending rules by allowing the new agency to permanently keep all funds transferred to it.
Agencies must typically return any unspent money to the state's general fund at the end of the budget year.
"There is a significant question whether an executive order can trump the general budget laws of the state," Claytor said.
Indiana Republican Party Chairman Tim Berry, who served seven years as state auditor, said Claytor is wrong to politicize the office.
"By attempting to insert himself into this political hot topic, Mike Claytor is making it transparent that he is going to be yet another Democrat who is willing to pander to the liberal base at the expense of improving education for Hoosiers," Berry said.