The Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) recently released their investigative report after allegations came forward of over $100 million in fraud within the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) that is overseen by DHS.
The OLA report found that a previously “good working relationship” between the Inspector General and investigators in the office quickly deteriorated after Ham’s appointment to the position in 2017 and also found there to be “significant distrust” between the two. The report also documents how childcare fraud investigators “have never met Ham” and expressed that she had an unwillingness to meet with them.
The very job description of Inspector General is to manage “financial fraud and abuse investigations” but Sen. Koran questions how Ham is able to carry out her job if she fails “ to even communicate with the employees in her office responsible for carrying out the mission of the Inspector General.”
The report also exposes how Ham has gone as far as to use $90,000 of taxpayer funds to hire an outside consulting firm to “examine the…investigation unit” that is in her very own office, showing her efforts to “discredit” investigators. Moreover, Ham’s statement during a legislative committee hearing “clearly left the impression that [she] does not trust the…investigators that work within her office”, the report cites.
Sen. Koran has stated that “if [Ham] refuses to voluntarily resign, Governor Walz should terminate her for cause” adding that he has authored legislation to make the Office of the Inspector General a truly independent agency outside of DHS in order to better review the work of DHS and ensure Minnesota taxpayers money is being spent honestly.
Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.