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ND wildlife workers to reimburse bogus payments

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand says employees identified in an audit who improperly billed the state for meals and other expenses have been told to pay back the money.

The move comes after the attorney general's office told the agency this week that a civil suit could be initiated to recover the improperly paid funds.

A review last month by the state auditor's office criticized the agency's misuse of public money.

The audit found there were more than 4,800 per diem payments made to employees over a nearly three-year period. Auditors reviewed only 20 of the payments and 12 were found to have been billed improperly.

Steinwand says the agency also is doing an internal audit to determine if any other employees were paid improperly.