Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway is seeking to conduct an independent audit of Greene County after receiving whistleblower information about alleged misuse of public funds.
For the county’s new half-cent general revenue sales tax that passed in November, the whistleblower complaint alleges county officials engaged in inappropriate activities, specifically duties related to the Invest in Greene County Political Action Committee. County employees allegedly accepted PAC donations in county offices during work hours, according to a news release.
Under Missouri law, public funds may not be used to advocate, support or oppose ballot measures or candidates for public office. Officials are allowed to provide information to residents about upcoming ballot measures.
Galloway penned a letter yesterday to the Greene County Commission asking them for permission to conduct an audit. According to the release, first-class counties must pass an ordinance or resolution allowing the auditor to conduct through reviews.
“Given the number of county officials and employees potentially involved, an independent audit is necessary to determine whether and to what extent public resources were used to improperly advocate for this ballot measure,” Galloway wrote. “I am calling on the county commission to request an independent audit of these matters.
“I ask that the county not destroy or dispose of any records relating to this ballot measure and any potential advocacy related to the measure until an independent audit has been conducted.”
Greene County spokeswoman Trysta Herzog issued a statement on behalf of the commission.
“The commission takes employee complaints seriously, and we intend to fully cooperate with the state auditor’s office on this matter,” the statement reads.
Steph Deidrick, spokeswoman for the auditor’s office, said the county has not yet passed an ordinance to grant authority to Galloway.
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