SPRINGFIELD — Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott gives his thoughts on 300+ pages of information released by State Auditor Nicole Galloway.
However — shortly after — Auditor Galloway released additional information herself. She also released a statement saying she was committed to protecting identities of the whistleblowers on this case.
On January 19th, The State Auditor’s attorney notified Sheriff Arnott’s attorney that they would be completing the fulfillment of a Sunshine Law request on January 26th.
Sheriff Arnott says the information released by the Auditor’s lawyers left him with more questions than answers.
“It is very confusing, like I said. I received this stack of 300 and something pages,” Arnott says.
Sheriff Arnott says the information ranges from a Department of Natural Resources permit to news articles. But, they did not have something the Sheriff’s office is wanting to know.
“There is not a list of complaints,” Arnott says.
In an effort to have full transparency on his end, the Sheriff’s Office published the information on Facebook to let folks draw their own conclusion about what the information means. Arnott says he is waiting for the next hearing in February to determine if the Galloway must release more information.
“What I was going to do was wait for the Judge to review it on our court date February 16th, and then we will go with whatever the judge says, to get whatever information is there,” says Arnott.
Arnott says he is not worried about being audited. In fact, he says it is something he is used to.
“I have an auditor that audits expenses everyday,” Arnott explains. “I have an outside auditor that comes in once a year audits. We have the FBI that comes in and audits,” Arnott says.
Arnott also gave reaction to separate claims that a brochure put out regarding the jail expansion and sales tax were meant to be educational, and were not an advocacy for those measures, which would be a crime. That is currently under investigation by the Missouri Ethics Commission.
“I didn’t have any input on the designing the brochure, I didn’t approve the brochure,” Arnott says. “A company that the County Commission contracted with designed it along with their staff. I read through it. I see no advocacy.”
The brochure situation is separate from the 300+ pages of information released by Auditor Galloway, and the Sheriff says he knows the truth will come to light, even if it is a painful process to get there.
“If there is any issues, then we will deal with them,” says Arnott. “I have been very open with the information and putting out facts to everybody as soon as I get them.”
With another hearing on February 16th, the Sheriff’s office is hoping a judge will rule that the State Auditor must release all of the information regarding the whistleblower claims, with some redacted information such as names and phone numbers to protect identities.
The Sheriff’s Office wants to know what the claims are so that they can fix them, not who made the claims.