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— The Arkansas Board of Finance is hiring a consultant to review the state’s investment practices after legislative auditors said Treasurer Martha Shoffner’s decision to sell bonds early cost the state thousands in potential earnings.

The board on Thursday voted to issue a request for qualifications for a consultant to review the treasury’s investment practices.

The panel did not say when it hoped to hire the consultant or how long the review would take.

The move was in response to a legislative audit that said Shoffner’s decision to sell bonds before they matured cost the state more than $434,000 worth of earnings. Auditors recommended hiring an outside firm to review the investments.

The panel met by conference call.

Shoffner voted in favor of the hiring.

Photo by Stephen B. Thornton
9/17/12... Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner during the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee Monday afternoon in Little Rock.

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