State to audit Great Colorado Payback

DENVER — The Colorado State Auditor’s Office will audit the Great Colorado Payback and the management of the program by the treasurer’s office.

The Great Colorado Payback is a program that aims at getting unclaimed property and finances returned to rightful owners.

The Problem Solvers have highlighted for months the difficulty some Coloradans have felt getting their property or finances returned.

Kellie Harper found out in late October that the Great Colorado Payback was holding almost $2,800 for her from a bank account she’d forgotten about. It took her several months to get that money.

In June, the Limon Chamber of Commerce complained about its delay.

According to the auditor’s office, the findings will not be completed until July or August next year.

Because the audit involves State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, the Republican nominee for governor, it has become a political issue.

Rachel George, a spokeswoman for Stapleton, suggested the treasurer’s office is “open” to the audit and had requested one be formally opened in late June.

George added Stapleton’s office has returned more than $197 million to taxpayers through the Great Colorado Payback, more than any treasurer in Colorado history.

George called Democrats’ attacks on the program a “political stunt.”

“If Stapleton can’t perform the limited duties of his current office without attracting scrutiny from state watchdogs, how can voters trust him to run the state?” Colorado Democratic Party spokesman Eric Walker said.

For clarity, the audit was initiated in early 2018 but was delayed because of other higher priority audits. Earlier this summer the Treasurer’s office requested the audit be re-opened however the State Auditor said that was unnecessary since one had already been planned.

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