Groups submits more than 9,100 signatures demanding audit of Clay County government

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A group of concerned citizens in Clay County Friday turned in more than 9,100 petition signatures seeking a state audit of county government operations.

Many in Clay County say they suspect their government is corrupt.

FOX 4 first reported in February about the formation of a non-partisan group of citizens with questions about what they considered wasteful county spending and internal administrative procedures that don't protect taxpayers.

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway accepted more than 9,100 signatures calling for her to audit Clay County operations.

After those signatures are verified by the election board, Galloway says she will examine contract bidding processes, professional service contracts and county credit card spending. Those are among the concerns with which whistleblowers have called her office to register complaints.

"If there are criminal violations of law we provide our findings and information to the appropriate law enforcement agency," Galloway said. "The auditor is not a law enforcement agency but we work hand in hand regularly across the state with law enforcement agencies, when we find concerning issues within our audit. It could be the highway patrol, the attorney general. It could be the FBI. It depends on what items we may find."

The auditor says she has sent letters to county administrators demanding that records not be destroyed.

Galloway says she hopes to complete the audit by the end of the year. It's expected to cost the county between $100,000 and $150,000 dollars. That was listed on the petition so those who signed would know the cost to taxpayers.

The citizens group says every mayor in Clay County has signed the petition as well as about 70 current or former elected leaders.

Petition organizers say they hope to change county practices that they believe have resulted in wasteful spending, higher taxes and big pay raises for county commissioners and administrators.

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