KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway announced Wednesday she will accept the Jackson County Legislature’s request to complete an audit of Jackson County.
"In the legislature's request to my office, there is concern about the financial operations of the county and procurement or purchasing practices within the county, so we certainly will be taking a look at those," said Galloway.
According to a news release from the Jackson County Executive’s Office, on Jan. 3 County Executive Frank White recommended the county legislature request Galloway conduct an independent audit of Jackson County; state law requires such a request come from the county legislature.
The Jackson County Legislature adopted a resolution in February requesting the State Auditor’s Office conduct an audit of Jackson County’s financial records.
"My audit will objectively examine the concerns brought forward by county officials and provide a full accounting of how taxpayer dollars are managed," Galloway said in the news release. "The independent review will examine whether the county is operating efficiently, effectively and in a way that best serves the citizens of Jackson County."
White issued the following statement after Galloway’s announcement:
“I would like to thank State Auditor Nicole Galloway for agreeing to perform an audit of Jackson County’s financial policies and practices. It is our duty to hold ourselves, our policies and our practices up to the light, and if issues are discovered, it is our job to fix them. More importantly, taxpayers deserve to know that we are being responsible stewards of their dollars.
Additionally, I am grateful for the Legislature’s support of my request to conduct an audit of the County. Our unanimous support is a testament to our shared commitment to operating a government that’s effective, efficient and transparent. County staff and I look forward to supporting and participating in this process to help the auditors complete their scope of work.”
The audit comes after the Jackson County Legislature filed a lawsuit against White on Jan. 16. According to a news release, the legislature requested the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County to enforce an ordinance which places day-to-day supervision of COMBAT under the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, saying it's an order White has failed to comply with since the legislature overrode his veto on Dec. 28, 2017. Scott Burnett, chair of the legislature, said they believe there is an issue with the way funds are being appropriated and that prompted the lawsuit.
Galloway said the audit will begin later this year, and it could take several months to complete.
She is asking for public input on the audit. If you have concerns about Jackson County government you can contact the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-347-8597.