It appears to be up to Missouri’s last remaining statewide Democrat – Auditor Nicole Galloway – to investigate the validity of allegations of campaign violations made against outgoing state Attorney General Josh Hawley.
Galloway said Friday that she’ll comply with the request of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican who initially had been charged with examining a formal complaint filed against Hawley.
The complaint alleges Hawley, also a Republican, used public money to support his Senate bid against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. Hawley defeated McCaskill and will take office in January.
Ashcroft asked Galloway to look into the allegations because she has subpoena powers; the secretary of state does not.
Galloway said her probe will be part of her standard audit of the attorney general’s office after Hawley resigns. Gov. Mike Parson has named state Treasurer Eric Schmitt as Hawley’s replacement.
"The goal of an independent audit is to get to the truth for taxpayers and not to proceed based on assumptions," Galloway said in a statement. "My office will review these concerns with heightened scrutiny."
Hawley denies any wrongdoing. A spokeswoman said Friday, “As we have explained, this is one of many politically motivated complaints filed during the last election and it is false. It’s a shame this partisan complaint will consume taxpayer dollars. The attorney general’s office looks forward to being fully cleared of these partisan allegations.”
Galloway noted Ashcroft has determined that the complaint by the American Democracy League Fund is "not frivolous,'' as Hawley has contended. Galloway wrote that she will seek documents that Ashcroft's staff obtained in their initial investigation.
She indicated that her audit's findings will be forwarded to Ashcroft.
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