LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas auditors have found that the state treasurer’s office has spent state funding on events, meals, gifts and personal purchases without a reasonable business purpose.

Auditors told lawmakers Thursday that state Treasurer Dennis Milligan’s office made the purchases between June 2015 and February 2017, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. They said the office spent almost $4,300 on catered events and meals, almost $840 for gifts and more than $800 in personal purchases.

Deputy Legislative Auditor Jon Moore said the office has reimbursed the gifts and personal purchases. But he said Arkansas law bans a state constitutional officer or their employees from spending state funding for personal use, maintenance and operation of the office.

Milligan wrote a letter to auditors that said his office thought the expenditures were a legitimate expense. He said purchases now require approval from a supervisor and a chief deputy treasurer.

“I will continue to be a good steward of the taxpayers’ funds and implement whatever processes are necessary to accomplish that task,” Milligan wrote.

Milligan is a former Saline County circuit clerk and a former chairman of the state Republican Party. He has been treasurer since January 2015.

The treasurer’s office manages more than $3 billion for Arkansas. Interest earnings on those funds have increased since Milligan became treasurer.

Milligan announced last month that he will be seeking re-election to his second four-year term in the 2018 election.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,

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