JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Auditor Nicole Galloway is requesting documents to figure out if Governor Eric Greitens used taxpayer dollars on lawyers hired to defend him in possible impeachment proceedings.
In a letter sent to the governor’s counsel Lucinda Luetkemeyer, the auditor's office is inquiring whether the governor has used or will use state funds to pay for private attorneys to represent himself or any other state employee in possible impeachment proceedings. The inquiry comes after the auditor's office received reports that Greitens' office used or was planning to use public funds to pay for private attorneys, the letter said.
"As Auditor, it is my duty to hold every elected official accountable for the responsible use of taxpayer dollars," Galloway said in a statement. "The people of Missouri deserve to know whether their tax dollars are being used to represent the Governor in any disciplinary action before the legislature."
The letter requests the number of attorneys hired, if the office plans to hire more, a copy of contracts and any itemized billings. The letter also asks under what budget lines each attorney has or will be paid, and the duties of each attorney.
The letter also asks for justification if state funds are being used.
Galloway was appointed as Missouri State Auditor in 2015 by then-Governor Jay Nixon after the death of Tom Schweich.
The governors' office released the following statement:
"The House Special Committee on Oversight has retained attorneys from two Missouri law firms to serve as its counsel and to assist the House committee’s taxpayer-paid lawyers. To date, the House committee has served subpoenas and raised issues in court.
Following the legislature’s vote to call itself into special session, the Office of the Governor retained Missouri litigation counsel to represent the Office and Governor Greitens in his official capacity in the House proceedings.
Edward (“Eddie”) Greim of Graves Garrett LLC will join Ross Garber as outside counsel to the Office of the Governor. Greim is a litigator specializing in Missouri policy and constitutional issues; Garber specializes in providing advice and expertise related to legislative investigations and due process. They will be representing the office, and paid out of the office’s budget."
The 30-day special session to consider impeachment will start at 6:30 on May 18, just 30 minutes after state lawmakers finish their normal session.