JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Aug. 7, 2018) Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has requested the authority for her office to conduct a thorough, independent audit into allegations that public resources were misused in the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney's office.
Auditor Galloway said her office recently received credible information through the Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline to indicate funds were spent inappropriately on questionable expenditures by the county prosecutor. Bonus payments also may have been made to employees of the prosecutor's office.
The Auditor said an independent audit would provide a thorough review of whether taxpayer resources within the prosecuting attorney's office were utilized effectively, efficiently and in compliance with the law.
The letter to the St. Francois County Commission asked the commission to request an audit; it outlines the allegations and asks that the county not destroy or dispose of any records relating to these allegations going back to at least 2015. Those records would include recordings and minutes of meetings, emails and other documents.
Under current Missouri law covering first-class counties, the State Auditor's Office must receive an ordinance or resolution passed by the county commission requesting the State Auditor audit either the county as a whole, or a particular officer or office of that county.
The Auditor also said the allegations demonstrate the vital role played by whistleblowers in uncovering allegations of waste, fraud or mismanagement by public officials. Earlier this year, Auditor Galloway supported a measure approved by the legislature to restore and strengthen whistleblower protections for public employees in Missouri.
Individuals can use the Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline to share information on allegations of improper government activity. Reports are anonymous and protected by law. Individuals may contact the State Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-347-8597. Concerns may also be submitted anonymously online at auditor.mo.gov/hotline.
A copy of the Auditor's letter sent this week to the St. Francois County Commission is here.