The California state auditor will investigate the controversial proposal by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to spend $179 million of bridge toll dollars to move its office from Oakland to San Francisco.

"In the wake of recent toll increases, it is astounding that the MTC now has $179 million available to move its offices," said state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, who requested the audit.

The audit was approved by a unanimous vote by the California Join Legislative Audit Committee. The Bureau of State Audits, under auditor Elaine Howle, will conduct the audit.

The MTC voted on Aug. 17 to withdraw its earlier approval to move offices and instead formed a committee to review the proposal. DeSaulnier, as chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, will also hold a series of hearings this fall to examine regional governance in the Bay Area.

He said he sent a letter to the MTC in advance of the hearings asking for specific information about the move.

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