JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.–As the legal and political issues keep mounting against Governor Eric Greitens, he has another controversy to contend with.
Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway is requesting to know if state funds are being used to pay for his private attorneys.
The state auditor’s office sent a letter to Governor Greitens on Monday asking if the state is or will be paying for his attorney fees. If so, she is requesting among other things, to know how many attorneys he’s hired and the cost of their services.
“The governor does not have a large budget and we have criticized previous administrations for funneling money from state agencies and state departments up to the governor’s office to pay for expenses so if that is the case, that is concerning because it begs the question, what services are Missourians forgoing to pay for the governor’s legal attorneys and legal expenses,” says Nicole Galloway, state auditor.
Galloway says Greitens’ ongoing legal troubles could amount to thousands of dollars for taxpayers if that’s who’s paying for them.
“When people work hard and pay their taxes, I don’t think this is what they think their tax dollars should be spent on or at least this is not their idea of what the taxpayer dollars should be spent on,” says Galloway.
Galloway has given Greitens until Friday to respond to her letter. If he doesn’t, she’s prepared to take further action.
“Certainly we can follow up with additional letters. In the past, we have had to issue a subpoena to the governor and his administration to get him to cooperate with our audits. That’s a legal mechanism that is available, but it’s too soon,” says Galloway.
The auditor says it’s to be determined if it’s illegal or unethical for public funds to be used for Greitens’ attorney fees if it’s discovered that taxpayers are paying for them.