- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

NEWKIRK, Okla. (AP) - Three financial audits released by the state Auditor and Inspector’s office raise questions about bids filed for Kay County road and bridge projects.

State Auditor Gary Jones told The Oklahoman on Thursday (https://bit.ly/1ssD6Ra ) that he will detail his findings to a special prosecutor. The local district attorney stepped aside because he provides legal advice to Kay County officials.

Jones said it appeared some contracts went to businesses that were not the low bidder in the period from 2010 to 2012.

“They did not follow competitive bidding laws, and they were giving contracts out that cost the county more money than they should have,” Jones told the newspaper. “In many cases, the items that were bid they gave to somebody who had bid higher, which means they ignored the low bid.”

An investigative audit is expected within a few weeks.

Kay County Commission Chairman Tyson Rowe did not comment to the newspaper. He had said previously that some contracts were spread among multiple bidders because of concerns that all the material needed wouldn’t be available from the low bidder.

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