JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (Jan. 31, 2019) Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today issued a subpoena to Clay County to require the county to turn over documents associated with an ongoing audit. The subpoena was issued after multiple requests for standard information resulted in delays by the county and communication from multiple outside law firms.
"Within the first six weeks of this process, my team has encountered delays, roadblocks and evasive responses that make it challenging to complete audit work in a cost-effective way on behalf of the taxpayers of Clay County," Auditor Galloway said. "My auditors are requesting basic information, and there is no reason why it should be this difficult. Citizens asked for an audit of their government because they wanted answers about the operations of their county. I will use the full authority of my office to ensure they get the answers they deserve."
The information being subpoenaed is commonly requested during the audit process. Within the past two years, the State Auditor's Office has completed more than 40 comprehensive county performance audits in which the same basic information was provided to auditors without the need for a subpoena.
The audit of Clay County was initiated after a citizen petition was submitted to the Auditor's Office and then verified to have more than the minimum 5,590 signatures of county residents who are registered voters.
The audit began with an entrance meeting on Dec. 18, during which audit staff made it clear to the county that efforts to slow down audit work could impact the efficiency of the audit process and the cost of the audit. Under state law, the cost of petition audits are the responsibility of the auditee, which in this case would be Clay County.