Missouri state auditor says Clay County not cooperating with audit

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CLAY COUNTY, Mo. — Missouri state auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena to Clay County in an effort to obtain the necessary documents she needs to continue and audit.

Galloway announced Thursday that the county has not been cooperating and keeps delaying her requests for 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 in a news release. “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.”

A group of concerned Clay County citizens pushed for an audit on the county government for months.

FOX4 first reported in February 2018 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.

In June, that group submitted more than 9,100 signatures to the state, seeking an audit of Clay County operations. The citizens group said every mayor in Clay County signed the petition as well as about 70 current or former elected leaders.

Galloway told FOX4 in June she planned to examine contract bidding processes, professional service contracts and county credit card spending. Those are among the concerns with which whistle-blowers have called her office to register complaints.

The audit was initially expected to take about one year to complete. It is unclear whether that timeline will be pushed back.

The cost to taxpayers to conduct the audit is approximately $100,000 to $150,000, it could be more with the delays.

Petition organizers previously told FOX4 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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