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Auditor Galloway to oversee much of the investigation of Hawley

Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway

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.

Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway
Credit Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway

"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.

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter:@jmannies

Copyright 2018 St. Louis Public Radio

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.