An audit of the Nebraska Department of Labor found some employees got reimbursed for making field trips to Nebraska businesses that auditors were unable to substantiate ever happened. One man accused of taking the most trips retired during the investigation.

The audit also dinged the department for being slow to respond to its requests for information, which delayed the audit for five months. State Auditor Mike Foley said the Labor Department was not exactly cooperative and just doesn’t “appreciate the audit process.”

“We had a lot of problems,” he said. “It was a very, very difficult audit. Probably one of the most difficult in recent years.”

Foley said the audit had an unusually high number of findings.

“There’s a lot of financial weaknesses in that agency,” he said. “Quite a few are repeat issues.”

State Labor Commissioner Catherine Lang said she appreciates the auditor’s efforts to help correct and adjust her department’s practices to eliminate the perception of impropriety.

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