JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (December 29, 2020) — Today, the Missouri State Auditor’s Office issued a statement after the Western District Court of Appeals upheld a ruling made last year confirming the Auditor’s legal authority to conduct performance audits. In October 2019, the Cole County Circuit Court dismissed a lawsuit by the Clay County Commission that sought to prevent a citizen-requested audit of the county. The County Commission attempted to overturn that ruling, but today’s action affirms the previous court’s decision.
“Today’s ruling is another win for Clay County citizens who simply want accountability and transparency from their government. Despite ongoing attempts to obstruct this office’s efforts to get answers for taxpayers, work on the audit of Clay County will continue.”
A second legal case related to the audit is ongoing. In October 2020, the Clay County Circuit Court affirmed the Auditor’s authority to access routine records and information associated with the audit. At the beginning of December, the County Commission appealed that ruling.
The audit of Clay County was initiated after a citizen petition was submitted to the State Auditor’s Office and then verified to have more than the minimum 5,590 signatures of county residents who are registered voters. During the course of the audit, Auditor Galloway has issued multiple subpoenas to demand answers from the Clay County Commission and has continued to fight in court to compel cooperation from the commission.