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State auditor steps down after failing accounting exams

October 2, 2021 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s state auditor announced Friday that he is stepping down after failing two exams needed to become a certified public accountant — a requirement for the post he was elected to last year.

Matthew Dunlap passed one of the required accounting tests but failed two others by a margin of five questions, he said in a Friday letter to Senate President Troy Jackson. The soonest he could retake the exams is in 60 days, putting him past the nine-month window to gain certification after his election.

Dunlap said he will turn the job over to Deputy State Auditor Melissa Perkins while lawmakers find a replacement.

“I’ve taken all the exams, but have fallen short — just short,” Dunlap said in an email to press.

Dunlap, a Democrat, spent 14 years as Maine’s secretary of state before reaching the job’s term limit in 2020. He later launched a successful bid to become state auditor despite having no professional background in finance.

Maine law requires the state auditor to be a certified public accountant but provides nine months to achieve that designation. Dunlap said he plans to retake the exams once he is eligible.