NonStop Local: Sen. Tester conducts an audit of his own Office, says more lawmakers should be held accountable

by Bradley Warren & Bobby Lee

US Senator Jon Tester recently conducted an audit of his own office as he’s saying more lawmakers should be held accountable – especially when it comes to your tax dollars. 

The Senator right now is demanding that Senators and members of the House of Representatives come to the table and be publicly audited.

He underwent one by a retired State Supreme Court judge and went through all of the documents in his office to say if in fact, things were up to par.

NonStop Local’s Bradley Warren had the opportunity to look at the documents and is able to break some of this down in a pretty interesting situation.

Warren went to Senator Tester’s Office to look through the documents to confirm the findings of the audit done by Judge Terry Trieweiler.

Senator Tester calls it an “Ethics Report”, and according to the Senator’s Office, Judge Trieweiler was not paid for the work and this audit covers the 2020-2021 calendar year.

A letter was sent from Tester’s chief of staff to the judge and some of the points include outside business forms, a log of gifts sent to the Senator and if they were returned or if they were donated, financial disclosure forms, and travel reports.

According to the findings from Judge Trieweiler, it showed that the Senator never used charter flights and charges were very minimal when it comes to the taxpayer. Some of them were for Per Diem meals and the Senator spent at most about $6. – Bradley Warren can confirm the information because he has seen the paperwork with his own eyes.

Upon completion of the audit, Judge Trieweiler wrote a letter saying he was impressed by the lengths to which the Senator is going to ensure that there’s not only transparency but accountability from his office.

“I was impressed by the fact that they wanted somebody unattached to their campaign or their staff to independently review what they had done to comply with their standards and those imposed by the Senate. I don’t know if anyone else does that, but it was informative,” said Judge Trieweiler.

A piece of legislation was introduced back in July by Senator Tester that was a Public Schedule Bill – because Senator Tester hopes that all members of congress should be required to post their meetings on the internet.

NonStop Local did also reach out to the Office of Tester’s election competitor, Tim Sheehy, for his thoughts.

“This a sham by arguably one of the most liberal judges in Montana history can’t cover up the fact that Jon Tester broke his own ethics pledge and let lobbyists write his bills, held secret meetings with them, became the #1 recipient of lobbyist cash, amassed a multimillion-dollar fortune while in office… and $1 million on fancy dinners, wining and dining lobbyists and the DC elite,” said a spokesperson for Tim Sheehy.  

It should be noted, this audit was an audit that was done of his Office that’s funded by taxpayers – not a personal audit. So what this showed by way of what Judge Trieweiler said is that the Senator is meeting Senate Ethics Guidelines.