Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today discussed information provided by several state office holders regarding the payment of private attorneys representing the Governor as he faces disciplinary action before the legislature.
After initially requesting information on how the private attorneys are being funded, Auditor Galloway received a letter from the Attorney General expressing doubt as to the Office of the Governor's legal authority to hire private counsel. Auditor Galloway has shared these legal concerns with the Office of Administration and Office of the State Treasurer, who are responsible for processing and paying state expenses. Today, after receiving a response from the Office of the Treasurer, Auditor Galloway's office sent additional correspondence. The State Auditor's Office has also requested additional information from the Governor's Office related to the cost, budget and funding source to pay the private attorneys.
Below is a statement from Auditor Galloway:
Based on the recent response, it appears that when the State Treasurer signs checks, the office merely accepts the paperwork and issues the payment with very limited review. As such, the Office of Administration needs to take seriously these concerns about the appropriateness of using public resources to represent the Governor in disciplinary action before the legislature.
I continue to have questions about the use of taxpayer dollars to pay these private attorneys and will pursue answers. It is my duty under the law to thoroughly review and investigate reports of improper governmental activities. I will not be deterred from doing my job, as I have clearly shown in the past when the Governor's administration has attempted to obstruct my efforts to get answers.