the Missouri State Auditor’s Office filed a lawsuit in Cole County Circuit Court against the Missouri State Board of Accountancy to block the Board from misapplying a state statute in a way that could bar the Auditor – current or future – from publically disclosing facts and findings of government inefficiencies, waste, fraud, and abuse.
The following statement is attributable to the State Auditor’s Office:
“This began when Senator Hawley filed a frivolous complaint with the State Board of Accountancy after an investigation of improper governmental activity while he served as Attorney General. The Board of Accountancy absolved the State Auditor on all of Hawley’s baseless allegations after sitting on the complaint for more than a year. Then, acting on their own, the Board employed a dubious application of a state statute to allege that taxpayers should not have been allowed to see supporting evidence included in the audit.
Never before in this state’s history has the licensing board for accountants asserted any authority over the powers and functions of the State Auditor. By attempting to control information available to the public, a board of gubernatorial appointees is interfering with the Auditor’s central role in enforcing government transparency and accountability. This cannot be allowed to stand. This office is turning to the Missouri courts to preserve and protect the constitutional authority of the State Auditor – current or future – as the taxpayers’ independent watchdog.”
A copy of the lawsuit filed today is available here.