The Highway Patrol and the state Auditor apparently are just going to agree to disagree about the purchase of a multi-million dollar airplane last winter.  

Auditor Tom Schweich says the airplane fleet run by the Highway Patrol was under-utilized before the Patrol spent $5.6 million  on a new nine-passenger airplane.   He charges the Patrol did not do the kind of  thorough needs analysis that would have shown both of the larger pressurized-cabin passenger planes were in the air on the same day last year only 58 days.

But patrol spokesman Tim Hull says the Patrol did study the needs

                                   AUDIO: Capt. Tim Hull ::34[timpat4]  :27 “down’

He says passenger-type airplanes have different demands than the planes the Patrol uses for traffic, searches, and other law enforcement purposes—and they’re not the kind of planes the Governor can use.  And he says the Patrol considered that before buying the airplane.

The Patrol says it is convinced the added capacity of the new plane and the extensive warranty makes it a solid long-term investment for the state