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State auditor will examine spending by LANL coalition

SANTA FE, N.M. — The state auditor’s office says it will look into the spending habits of an agency of New Mexico municipalities surrounding Los Alamos National Laboratory.

New Mexico State Auditor Wayne Johnson said Monday he has designated the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities for a special audit following reports that its executive director spent public money on baseball tickets and alcoholic drinks for a dinner in Washington.

Johnson says there are enough concerns to warrant a close look to make sure all state laws were followed.

Executive director Andrea Romero is facing criticism for the recent spending that included expensive gatherings where alcohol was purchased. She has apologized and said she counted on Los Alamos County, the coalition’s fiscal agent, to rectify spending that wasn’t allowed under coalition policy.

The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities is an agency made of nine northern New Mexico cities, counties and pueblos surrounding the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos Lab.