Head of North Dakota Commerce Department retains attorney as audit sparks criminal investigation

The head of North Dakota’s Commerce Department has personally retained an attorney amid a criminal investigation into audit findings of potential state law violations.


Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer appeared Wednesday before the Legislature’s Audit and Fiscal Review Committee to answer lawmakers’ questions related to audit findings that agency officials mishandled appropriations and also skirted public bid requirements in developing the state’s new logo.


State Auditor Josh Gallion last month notified Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem of the audit finding. He told lawmakers Wednesday that his notification related to Commerce charging more than $850,000 to the wrong two-year budget cycle.