Nicole Galloway’s Office Repeatedly Admitted in Court That Releasing Audit Work Papers Is a Felony Violation of Her Oath, “Punishable by a Term in the Penitentiary”
Today, Liberty Alliance USA Executive Director Chris Vas released the following statement regarding Nicole Galloway’s release of audit work papers in violation of her Office’s repeated past, public statements in court that doing so would be a felony:
In public court filings from 2017, 2018, and 2019, Nicole Galloway’s Office argued that the same laws cited by Attorney General Schmitt make disclosure of confidential audit-related records a felony violation of her oath of office punishable by jail time.
In 2017, the Auditor argued in a public court filing that audit-related records were “confidential by statute,” and that “So strong is the protection of audit information that an examiner who reveals any information the examiner gains during an audit to anyone but the Auditor faces felony, not merely misdemeanor, charges. §§29.070-29.080.” See it here.
In 2018, the Auditor’s counsel successfully blocked the disclosure of audit work papers, arguing that an employee of the Auditor’s office “who reveals such information is guilty of a felony.” The Auditor’s Office told the Court that making such information public “would be punishable by a term in the penitentiary.” See it here.
In 2019, the Auditor dismissed an auditee’s concerns about confidentiality, assuring it that all of its work papers and related material “are required to be kept confidential.” §29.200.17. “And auditors are under an oath that they “will not reveal the condition of any office examined by him or any information secured in the course of any examination of any office to anyone except the state auditor.” Violation of this oath constitutes a felony. §29.080.” See it here.
“When it comes to auditing Republicans, Galloway is apparently willing to commit a crime to score political points. For years she has admitted that releasing audit work papers is a felony, with her chief counsel going so far as to admit it would be punishable by jail time. Yet she released confidential audit working papers to the public in effort to slam her opposing political party. Nicole Galloway is willing to do anything to get herself elected Governor in November, but breaking the law to do it is totally unacceptable.”
“We call on the Missouri House Special Committee on Government Oversight to call Nicole Galloway and her staff to explain what changed since her arguments in court. Missourians deserve an Auditor who does not break the law to score political points.”