Key players connected to a $1.8 million construction cost overrun on a building leased by the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office dispute when top officials were made aware of the project’s overages and whether they properly handled the matter.
Former Chief Deputy Attorney General Troy Seibel told the Tribune on Wednesday that there was nothing improper or done incorrectly in regard to the building leased in south Bismarck to house the state crime bureau, fire marshal and lottery offices.
Attorney General Drew Wrigley told lawmakers on Tuesday that his late predecessor Wayne Stenehjem and Seibel were told of the issue in January 2021 but didn’t inform staff budget until June 2021. The issue predates Wrigley’s tenure.
Seibel attributed the overage to unforeseen material costs due to supply shortages, and said he notified the attorney general’s finance department as soon as he learned of the issue in spring 2021.
“I’m at a loss as to this idea that Wayne and I knew about this for months and never said anything to anybody, including our finance department,” Seibel said.
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Wrigley took office Feb. 9 upon Gov. Doug Burgum’s appointment of him to fill the remaining months of the term of Stenehjem, who died Jan. 28 at age 68 from cardiac arrest. Seibel resigned in March when Wrigley told him he intended to appoint a new deputy. Wrigley must win election in November to continue serving beyond this year.