- Associated Press - Thursday, October 20, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The president of the Montana Senate is asking legislative auditors to investigate the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

DPPHS Director Richard Opper says the request is politically motivated and without basis.

Republican Sen. Debby Barrett of Dillon wants Legislative Auditor Angus Maciver to look into allegations of waste, fraud and abuse within the department.

The allegations are based on a September article in the Independent Record newspaper that cited former department staffers as saying employees were discouraged from investigating questionable payments made by the state’s welfare program, to department contractors and money that may have been diverted to other programs.

Opper said Thursday the allegations are inaccurate and it’s disheartening that Barrett would want to use tax dollars to fuel baseless political attacks.

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