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Auditor Galloway sues over Hawley's reaction to audit

Posted at 11:04 AM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 12:04:30-04

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway is suing a state board that she said is threatening to discipline her and her office after she issued audits critical of Sen. Josh Hawley for his use of public money while he was Missouri Attorney General.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Galloway asked a Cole County judge to find the State Board of Accountancy's powers and client confidentiality laws do not apply to government agencies reviewed by the state auditor, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Galloway, a Democrat who is not seeking re-election next year, issued audits in 2018 that found that Hawley, a Republican, might have misused state resources during his successful run for the U.S. Senate.

In response, Hawley asked the accountancy board to investigate Galloway and her office for any violations of their accountant's certifications.

In the lawsuit, Galloway said the board is erroneously interpreting state law in a way that would allow subjects of audits to alter audits, endanger her staff's accounting licenses and give state agencies and state officers a way to block the auditor from reporting crimes.

A spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Commerce & Insurance, which houses the accountancy board, said the department had not been notified of a lawsuit.