In 2019, an audit showed state Agriculture Commissioner Steve
got the state to pay more than $22,000 for hotels, meals and
more during annual State Fairs.
Nearly all of the payments deemed improper — more than $10,000 each —
were for Troxler and his chief of staff. The audit did not require the three officials to repay the money, although State Auditor Beth Wood suggested that they should do so. Troxler’s office, however, defended the expenses and gave no indication that he or the others will be asked to repay the money.
Despite exceeding the daily limit, Troxler stayed at the Renaissance hotel in North Hills, part of Marriott’s “premium” brand of hotels, and the two also expensed more than $600 worth of meals and mileage during the 2018 fair, plus $100 for valet parking, the audit says, and nearly $900 worth of meals and mileage during the 2017 fair.
Troxler also stayed at the Renaissance in 2014 and 2017, the audit said, paying the same price of $199 a night in those years. In 2015 and 2016 he stayed at different hotels that, while slightly cheaper at $143 and $159 per night, still exceeded the maximum rate.
Yelverton, the fair manager, stayed in a $70-per-night Hawthorne Suites hotel near the fairgrounds and did not expense any meals, mileage or other costs. Wood’s office credited Yelverton for finding a cheap option and questioned why Troxler and Hedgecock stayed in the more expensive hotel.