State invoice records show it cost Idaho taxpayers roughly $14,000 for the State Controller's Office to hire a private law firm to investigate sexual and racial harassment claims against a top employee.

State officials said Thursday the office hired outside attorneys to prevent any conflicts of interest because the office's general counsel reported to the supervisor facing the allegations.

A former employee in a tort claim filed last week says Controller Brandon Woolf's former chief of staff, Dan Goicoechea, engaged in abusive language and violent acts in conversations involving her and other individuals.

Woolf has denied accusations that officials condoned the harassment. Instead, the office says they immediately hired a private law firm to investigate the allegations.

Goicoechea resigned after the investigation was completed.