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First lady's involvement questioned in operation of mansion

Teresa Parson
Posted at 1:08 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 14:08:48-05

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A member of the foundation board that oversees the Missouri Governor's Mansion says she stepped down over concerns about the increasing role of the governor's wife in decision-making.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis architect Marion Smith raised her concerns about Teresa Parson in an October letter to colleagues on the Friends of the Missouri Governor's Mansion Foundation board.

The letter said the board has "allowed the wife of a politician to dictate our staffing and how we spend our money as well as participating in our board meetings." Her letter said the board has "lost its integrity as an independent not-for-profit organization."

A statement from the office of Gov. Mike Parson said he and the first lady "have and will continue to support the Friends of the Mansion and the work that they do on behalf of the People's House."

Smith's exodus comes after the longtime director of the foundation, Rebecca Gordon, stepped down in September.