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Chafin’s multi-year expense filing prompts change

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In light of news that former senator Truman Chafin cashed in four years’ worth of legislative per-diem expenses, the upper chamber is preparing to make changes.

“We are in the process of changing a couple of policies,” said Senate Clerk Clark Barnes on Monday.

Barnes, who said he was surprised to read about Chafin’s December request, which reimbursed the longtime senator for $34,060 in expenses dating back to 2011, said there likely would be two specific changes.

The first will be to have someone in the Senate clerk’s office review the expense reports each official submits. Senators currently provide their expense reports to the Senate’s bookkeeping office. The bookkeeping office then hands the expense reports to the Legislative Auditor’s office, which ultimately approves each report.

“We have discovered there was no middle person in the process within the Senate,” Barnes said. “No one in the Senate is actually reviewing these expenses to grant their approval before they’re given to the auditor’s office.”

“We are rectifying that,” he said.

Barnes said another change that is expected to occur would be to require senators to submit their requests in a timely fashion…

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