Missouri Auditor

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s political journo-duo – Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies – welcome state Auditor Nicole Galloway to the program for the first time.

The Democratic official was appointed to statewide office earlier this year after the death of state Auditor Tom Schweich. Before taking the reins, Galloway was in her first full term as Boone County’s treasurer.

Nicole Galloway takes the oath of office as Missouri auditor from Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Russell.
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

(Updated 4/28/2015, 11:58 a.m.)

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway has named her new senior staff.

In a press release issued Tuesday, she named John Luetkemeyer as Deputy State Auditor and Michael Moorefield as Chief of Staff.

Luetkemeyer has been with the Missouri Auditor's office since 1981.  He was promoted to executive staff in 2008 under former Auditor Susan Montee, a Democrat, and also served as Director of State Audits under Tom Schweich, a Republican.

Gov. Jay Nixon may soon decide his pick to replace state Auditor Tom Schweich. Nixon appointed John Watson earlier this year as an interim auditor while he mulls a permanent selection.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Filling Tom Schweich’s void in the state auditor’s office may be one of the most important decisions of Gov. Jay Nixon’s tenure. He’ll have to pick somebody who can perform the tasks of an important office – and contend with the rigors of maneuvering through statewide politics.

An audit released Tuesday finds that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's office has not instituted a policy to guard against conflicts of interest. In response, Koster noted that his campaign organization had instituted changes following earlier news reports about possible conflicts.

Adrian Clark | Flickr / Flickr

The state agency that provides Medicaid coverage to more than 840,000 Missourians does not have proper oversight over contractors in charge of certain aspects of payment processing, according to an audit released Monday of MO HealthNet.  

The report by the office of Tom Schweich, the Missouri state auditor, identified four areas of concern:

Friends of Tom Schweich

The only statewide political office up for grabs in Missouri this year doesn't appear to be anywhere near up for grabs.

State Auditor Tom Schweich, a Republican, is facing only token opposition from the Libertarian and Constitution parties, and the Democrats are not fielding a challenger. This contest may serve more as a campaign for Schweich's next political goal:

Libertarian nominee Sean O'Toole brought it up during a sit-down interview in September, saying that Tom Schweich is actually running for governor.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green joins the podcast this week. Green is the city's chief fiscal officer and one of the longest-serving comptrollers in modern history.

David Stonner/Missouri Department of Conservation

A report released on Friday by the Missouri auditor's office says the state continued to overspend on its elk restoration project, even after a 2011 audit found it was way over budget.

The current audit found the Missouri Department of Conservation spent close to $3.4 million to bring 129 elk into the state. Only an estimated 115 elk have survived.

But conservation department Deputy Director Tom Ripperger says those figures are misleading.

(Kristi Luther/St. Louis Public Radio)

Following a critical state audit of the Rockwood School District back in February, Missouri Auditor Tim Schweich said Wednesday that the district has made tremendous progress.  His previous audit found the district overpaid a construction company $1.2 million, which is one of   the few issues still unresolved. Schweich recommended a variety of reforms for Rockwood, from fuel usage and inventory policies to program management services. 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A state-run nonprofit corporation needs to improve its transparency, according to an audit released Thursday.

Steakpinball | Flickr

The Missouri state auditor released a report Wednesday on the state’s Public Defender system.

Among the findings: public defenders need to better track the hours they spend on each case and update the standards they use to determine what’s the appropriate caseload.

Auditor Tom Schweich says Public Defenders have relied on national standards that are out-of-date.

Missouri’s elk population appears to be settling into their new home state, according to state conservation officials.

Dr. Joseph Millspaugh of the University of Missouri -- Columbia updated the Missouri Conservation Commission today on the state’s elk herd, which he says seems to be doing well.

“(We have) evidence of survival rates (and) reproductive rates that are average to high," Millspaugh said.  "We see diet quality certainly within the range of what we would expect.”

The State Auditor’s Office is pleased overall with efforts by the Monarch Fire Protection District in Chesterfield to implement changes recommended in a recent audit.

In February, Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (R) gave the Monarch Fire District a “C,” in part for its early retirement incentives package that violated the State Constitution.  Spokesman for the Auditor’s office, Spence Jackson, says their recommendations there have yet to be implemented.

“They told us that that’s not something that they’re going to have to deal with again for another couple of years," Jackson said.  "But they did indicate that they would apply more due diligence with how future retirement incentives are handled, and we’re pleased with that.”

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Six lawsuits involving three ballot initiatives were heard Monday by the Missouri Supreme Court.

At stake are ballot questions that would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax, raise the minimum wage to $8.25 an hour, and cap interest rates on payday loans.  The fate of all three may turn on whether the State Auditor has the authority to estimate the financial impact of citizens’ petition initiatives.  Attorney Ronald Holliger argued that the High Court should uphold a lower court ruling supporting the State Auditor’s authority.

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

Two ballot questions going before Missouri voters in November won’t cost or save the state any money, according the State Auditor’s office.

One in particular would make changes to how appellate judges are selected.  The fiscal note for that measure was put together by Deputy Auditor Harry Otto.

“(We contacted) four statewide offices, 20 other departments/agencies, the House and Senate," Otto said.  "Out of those 24 places that we contacted we received comments from 16, and all 16 said ‘no costs associated with this measure.’”

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Missouri judge has struck down the State Auditor's authority to prepare financial estimates for ballot initiatives.

The ruling by Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem comes in a challenge to a proposed tobacco tax initiative for which supporters are not gathering signatures. But attorneys who specialize in initiative petitions say the ruling ultimately could affect other initiatives.

(Missouri Dept. of Conservation)

A controversial Missouri Department of Conservation plan to reintroduce elk into southeastern Missouri is under fire from Republican state auditor Tom Schweich.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony Monday on whether a state-created company needs more oversight, or has even outlived its usefulness.

Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company was created nearly 20 years ago to help small businesses obtain workers’ compensation insurance.  Forrest Miller of the Missouri Restaurant Insurance Trust, testified that the Trust he chairs is shutting down, and that the state-owned insurance company may be partially to blame.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri auditor and the state's Division of Finance have an agreement about access to records.

Auditor Tom Schweich had subpoenaed records from the Finance Division, saying he needs access to the documents to determine if bank regulators are doing their jobs properly. The Division of Finance responded that it was barred by law from complying and that workers could be dismissed or prosecuted for releasing documents.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says he’s issuing a subpoena to the Finance Division of the State Department of Insurance, in order to force them to release records on banks, savings and loans, and other financial institutions across the state.

Finance Division officials have so far refused to release documents on their reviews of financial institutions, saying that state law bars them from doing so.  But Schweich says the records are needed to see if banking regulators are doing their jobs properly.

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