In a letter Tuesday to state Attorney General
Franchini argued the firm used incorrect data in its analysis. "The files they did review were not verified as being complete or accurate," Franchini wrote in the hand-delivered letter to Balderas.
Clifton, Larson & Allen is one of the largest accounting and auditing companies in the state and has completed hundreds of jobs for state and local governments.
In a letter to Franchini, Gov.
"This office is gravely concerned about the involvement of insurance company representatives in the determination of liability," Deputy State Auditor
The dispute is set to go public Thursday when Franchini appears before the Legislative Finance Committee. Facing budget deficits and spending cuts, key lawmakers have raised questions about the tax collections and wonder if Franchini's ties to the insurance industry pose a conflict. Both Franchini and his wife have worked for the industry. Franchini has said his office operates independently of insurers.
The issue has been a top priority for the Legislature and the subject of monthly updates on the progress of collecting the back taxes.
One legislative staffer said there will be efforts in the coming legislative session to move the collection of the tax from the insurance superintendent to the state
A tax of 3 percent on gross policy premiums raised
The revenue has been growing, especially with the mandate under the Affordable Care Act for most people to have health insurance.
The audit indicated at least
When the audit was released, Franchini agreed there have been problems with the tax collection. He and his investigators brought the issue to the Legislature and asked for outside help to resolve it. He disputed the finding that some
He also said his insurance fraud division had opened an investigation into the issue of premium tax collections.
But the letter from Keller's office said that Franchini has been evasive about some of what he told lawmakers publicly.
The letter also said that while Franchini has cited a fraud investigation in declining to answer questions about the under-collections, he has since backed off that claim "because it was not clear anything would result from the criminal investigation."
Franchini has told lawmakers that his office has been working to resolve the problem since it gained independence from the
"There are some things in government that lasted a long time and are hard to change. I feel like I'm getting beat up a little bit," he told lawmakers in September.
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