Whistleblower contact, public corruption investigation to lead to audit of finances in City of Center

Review to focus on financial concerns, city operations under former city clerk

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today announced she will accept a request by the City of Center in Ralls County to audit questionable financial activity. The request comes after a complaint to the Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline and an investigation by the Public Corruption and Fraud Division in the State Auditor's Office.

"City officials in Center have requested this audit to get the facts about allegations of potential fraud and mismanagement. That's exactly what my public corruption team will provide," Auditor Galloway said. "Our independent audit will take a close look at city finances and operations to get answers for taxpayers."

The State Auditor's office was contacted through the Whistleblower Hotline about concerns related to the city finances under the former clerk. City officials formally requested an audit on July 3. Investigators with the Auditor's Public Corruption and Fraud Division conducted an investigation and found those concerns to be credible. 

An audit team will soon formally meet with the city to officially launch the audit. Auditors will then begin field work in Center.

In January, Auditor Galloway directed increased resources towards investigations of fraud and abuse in government in a newly created Public Corruption and Fraud Division (PCFD) within the State Auditor's Office. This division, which includes dedicated auditors, investigators and attorneys, will be activated to conduct the audit in Center. The division will work with law enforcement on any potential violations of law discovered in the course of the audit.

Individuals can use the Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline to share information on allegations of improper government activity. Contact the State Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline by emailing moaudit@auditor.mo.gov or by calling 800-347-8597. Concerns may also be submitted anonymously online at auditor.mo.gov/hotline.