Standard Staff currently works to obtain additional information on this subject. Updates will be provided as they become available.
Feb. 1, 2019 – In a press release issued yesterday, the Clay County Commission announced they served the Missouri State Auditor with a lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment determining the scope of her constitutional authority.
The release goes on to state the Commission took this action to protect County taxpayers from footing the bill for what they said they consider to be unconstitutional actions taken by Auditor Nicole Galloway.
“Auditor Nicole Galloway has made an extraordinary and invasive request for attorney-client privileged information of the County,” the statement said. “This information includes personnel records of individual employees, confidential contract negotiations and legal advice in pending lawsuits against Clay County taxpayers. To divulge this information to third parties would put Clay County taxpayers in a disastrous legal position.”
In response, Galloway’s office issued a statement that said, “The Clay County Commission’s legal action today
seeks to silence the voices of thousands of its own citizens who asked for their government to be audited. More concerning is the idea that Clay County taxpayer dollars could be used to prevent an audit these same taxpayers requested. Auditor Galloway remains committed to her legal duty to complete a comprehensive audit of Clay County and get taxpayers the answers they deserve.”
Clay County officials said they have remained corporative throughout the audit. They said personnel provided more than 300,000 lines of transactions regarding the financial records related to the County’s accounts.
In a separate statement released yesterday by the auditor’s office, Galloway’s office announced her office issued a subpoena to Clay County after the County delayed the release of what the office said they consider to be standard information.
“Within the first six weeks of this process, my team has encountered delays, roadblocks and evasive responses that make it challenging to complete audit work in a cost-effective way on behalf of the taxpayers of Clay County,” Galloway said. “My auditors are requesting basic information, and there is no reason why it should be this difficult. Citizens asked for an audit of their government because they wanted answers about the operations of their county. I will use the full authority of my office to ensure they get the answers they deserve.”
Clay County officials said the press releases issued by Galloway’s office misled the public and do not represent the “professional process that taxpayers expect of their elected officials.”
Clay County official said Galloway indicated the audit cost will increase for taxpayers.
“The County will take every step necessary to ensure that County taxpayers are not impacted by the Auditor’s decision to exceed her constitutional authority, and have specifically asked the Court to prevent her from doing so.”
Clay County officials said taxpayers deserve an audit in line with the Constitution of the State of Missouri and Missouri state laws.
“We will let a court decide the merits of both sides. In the meantime, we call upon Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway to cease her political rhetoric and adhere to the standards of governmental auditing with professionalism and impartiality.”