The Missouri State Auditor released a statement Thursday on what she described as the dismissal of a lawsuit by the Clay County Commission that she said sought to prevent a citizen-requested audit of the county.
Auditor Nicole Galloway said the court's order unequivocally confirms the Auditor's legal authority to conduct performance audits.
"This is a major victory for Clay County taxpayers,” she said. “This lawsuit represented an unprecedented level of obstruction. With its dismissal, the Clay County Commission should fully cooperate with the audit that citizens demanded. My office is committed to getting the answers Clay County residents deserve and will move forward with audit work."
An official statement released by the Clay County Commission said they have only just received a copy of the Judge’s ruling at 3 p.m. Thursday and have not had an opportunity to review it.
Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte said the judge’s decision does not surprise him.
“It just verifies what people have been saying for a year,” he said. “We need an audit.”
Now, Nolte said, the Commission will vote on whether to appeal the decision. He said he simply would like the audit to continue.
“I think we should cooperate,” he said.
Updates to this developing story will be provided as they become available.