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Parson says taxpayer money won't pay for legal fees of 3 senators who identified man as Chiefs rally shooter

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson
Posted at 3:16 PM, May 20, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Monday no taxpayer dollars should be used to help represent three senators who falsely identified an Olathe man as the Chiefs rally shooter without approval from his office.

Parson penned a letter to the Missouri Office of Administration, a state agency that certifies payments of the state's legal expense fund, about the issue.

It comes after Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said earlier this month his office would use the fund to represent state senators Rick Brattin, Denny Hoskins and Nick Schroer.

The trio of Republican senators are being sued by Olathe man Denton Loudermill after they falsely identified him as the Chiefs rally shooter on social media.

On the day of the shooting, they reposted photos that showed Loudermill in handcuffs and accused him of being an "illegal immigrant" as well as the person responsible for the shooting.

Bailey argues the they qualify to be represented under the fund because they're elected officials.

"I am writing about potential payments from the State Legal Expense Fund (LEF) to cover an adverse judgment against elected officials who falsely accused an American citizen of a heinous act and related it to his immigration status," Parson said in the letter. "I am deeply concerned about the liability to taxpayers should this aggrieved individual succeed in his lawsuits."

In the letter, Parson also told the administration that it's not to certify any payments "of any claim or any amount required by any final judgment rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction against these senators."

"To that end, Missourians should not be held liable for legal expenses on judgments due to state senators falsely attacking a private citizen on social media," Parson continued in the letter.

Parson also noted how all the three senators voted against authorizing spending from the fund, which shows they don't support it.

"I cannot justify money spent in this way," Parson said in the letter. "Accordingly, you shall not certify any payments from the LEF in this instance without my approval or a court order."

Parson previously denounced the behavior of the three senators.