Legislative auditor departing


Justin Stowe, who has run the auditing arm of the Kansas Legislature for the last three years, is stepping down to take a job in Washington state.

Stowe announced his departure at the end of Tuesday’s Legislative Post Audit Committee meeting. He said he is leaving in the last week of December.

Stowe has been with the Legislature’s auditing division since December 2008.

He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in public administration from Kansas State.

He is going to work for former Legislative Post Auditor Scott Frank, who is now the director of Performance and IT Audit for the Washington State Auditor’s Office.

“It’s been really fun working with all of you,” Stowe told the committee. “It’s really been enjoyable.”

Stowe would be the third Kansas legislative auditor to leave for the Washington state auditor’s office.

Barb Hinton left for Washington state in 2010 to take a job as deputy director of quality assurance. Frank left Kansas for Washington in 2018.

“I’ve received several offers from that state over the years and my wife finally told me I was taking it, so I did,” he said.

Stowe told the committee he would set up its next meeting in December, at which time it will need to select an interim auditor.

“You are going to be missed,” said Republican state Rep. Kristie Williams, chair of the Legislative Post Audit Committee.

“We are very grateful that you have left us a great team. We’re excited about that.”

Lawmakers suggested that maybe something needs to be done about keeping auditors from moving to Washington.

“We’ve got to stop this Washington deal. No more to Washington,” Republican state Sen. Rob Olson said. “I will definitely be sad to see you go.

“Any of you on the staff that like Washington, stop.”