Treasurer staffer asks for whistleblower status

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - The chief investment officer for the state treasurer's office has asked lawmakers whether she would be protected as a whistleblower while answering questions about why bonds were sold at a loss to the state.

Chief Investment Officer Autumn Sanson asked members of the Joint Auditing Committee if she would be covered under the Whistleblower Protection Act over questions about the bonds.

The chairman for the panel said he could not answer that question.

An audit found that Treasurer Martha Shoffner's office sold bonds from its investment portfolio before they had matured and purchased similar bonds from the same brokers, resulting in a net loss of more than $58,000.

Sanson said she advised against selling the bonds early. Shoffner could not explain why the bonds were sold early.

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