(KCPW News) Governor Gary Herbert responded this morning to a legislative audit slamming the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for doling out liquor to an Eden, Utah package agency that went bankrupt. The mishap cost the state about $300,000. Governor Herbert said the loss was padded by insurance, but there’s obviously some concern about the incident.
“Bottom line is we have not been reimbursed or got the product back as we should have received it.” Herbert says. “We’re out probably about a $100,000 in potential profit. I don’t know that there’s really any actual taxpayers’ dollars lost, but the potential of the markup is gone.”
The audit says the DABC failed to report the package agency’s impending termination to the commission, failed to report potential criminal activity of the agency’s operator, and continued to ship liquor there, despite its mounting debt. But does it indicate a systemic problem? Governor Herbert said he thinks it’s more of an isolated incident.
“I don’t think it’s a tip of the iceberg kind of a thing.” He says. “I think there are always concerns about inefficiencies and maybe some problems with management and lack of accountability. I know because of this they put into a new account manager that has oversight responsibility over these packaging agencies.”
Herbert said the issue will be taken into account as the state considers privatizing liquor sales, but it won’t be the deciding factor. He spoke at his monthly news conference on KUED.