Ark. treasurer: Relied on broker advice on bonds

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner says she relied on the advice of brokers and didn't do an independent analysis when her office sold bonds before they matured, resulting in a net economic loss to the state of more than $434,000.

Shoffner told lawmakers Friday that her office planned to change its practices and improve documentation after a critical audit. The Legislative Joint Auditing Committee is reviewing 30 bond transactions by her office. The audit said that eight bond transactions with St. Bernard Financial Services Inc. resulted in the largest net economic loss of $783,835.

That loss was partly offset by gains from other brokers.

Shoffner said she wasn't showing preference to St. Bernard, which received the bulk of the treasury's bond business. Shoffner is a Democrat who was re-elected in 2010.

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