State Auditor Nicole Galloway today issued a subpoena to Clay County to require the county to turn over documents associated with a citizen mandated audit. An Oct. 24 court ruling confirmed the Auditor's legal authority to conduct performance audits and dismissed the County Commission's lawsuit against the Auditor. Clay County officials have yet to produce documentation originally requested in December 2018 and January 2019.
After the court ruling, the information being subpoenaed was again requested by auditors on Oct. 31. Additionally, auditors requested information routinely and readily provided in audits of county governments. Clay County officials have failed to fulfill the request, and their attorneys have said that responses will be delayed indefinitely. Given the past conduct of the county in evading the audit, the subpoena was issued to get answers on behalf of Clay County citizens.
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 in December of 2018. At the end of January 2019, Clay County sued to prevent the Auditor from conducting the citizen-requested audit. After a judge dismissed the lawsuit at the end of October, audit work resumed.