An official at the state auditor’s office told The Texas Newsroom that when a lawmaker requests an audit, the request is sent to the Legislative Audit Committee, which is the agency’s governing authority.
This is where politics might again come into play. The audit committee is currently comprised of six Republicans. Besides Patrick, one member is House Speaker Dade Phelan, who supported Paxton’s impeachment and fired back at Patrick’s criticism after the acquittal, saying “his tirade disrespects the Constitutional impeachment process.”
“The inescapable conclusion is that today’s outcome appears to have been orchestrated from the start, cheating the people of Texas of justice,” Phelan added.
The committee also includes:
• State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, who voted to acquit Paxton on all charges.
• State Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, one of only two Texas Senate Republicans to vote for Paxton’s impeachment on most of the articles.
• State Rep. Morgan Myer, R-University Park, who was on the House board of managers which brought forward the articles of impeachment.
• State Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, who was appointed to the powerful position by Speaker Phelan.
In his request, Patrick asked for a “special audit,” which under the Texas Government Code is described as a “a financial audit of limited scope.”
It’s unclear if that request circumvents the normal committee process. Patrick’s office did not respond to several requests for comment about his audit request, and Phelan’s office said it had no comment as of Monday afternoon. The offices of Nichols, Huffman and Meyer did not immediately respond to similar requests.