Attorney General Concludes State Auditor Did Not Violate Missouri Sunshine Law

KC Star — Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway’s office did not violate the state’s open records laws, an investigation by the attorney general’s office concluded on Thursday.

Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, announced that his office would investigate Galloway, a Democrat, after a complaint filed in December by a GOP-aligned nonprofit called Missouri Alliance for Freedom.

The nonprofit, which had sued Galloway earlier in the year, alleged that the auditor’s office had not properly turned over text messages sent and received on her state-issued phone.

Amy Haywood, section leader of the attorney general’s consumer protection division, and Darrell Moore, deputy attorney general for criminal litigation, led the investigation into Galloway’s compliance with the Sunshine Law. On Thursday, they issued a report clearing Galloway of any wrongdoing.

“I appreciate the Attorney General’s thorough legal review and the professionalism of his staff in producing this report, which confirms what I have said from day one: My office follows the Sunshine Law, down to the last letter,” Galloway said in a statement to The Star. “We remain dedicated in our commitment to transparency, and I look forward to and encourage any efforts to modernize the Sunshine Law.”

The attorney general’s office said Galloway and her staff “cooperated fully” with the investigation, and “provided access to all witnesses, documents, and information requested.”

At the same time when he announced the inquiry of Galloway’s office, Hawley also announced an investigation into whether Gov. Eric Greitens and his staff illegally destroyed public records by using an app that erases text messages.

Hawley’s office issued a statement last month suggesting the governor and his staff weren’t fully cooperating with the investigation, an accusation Greitens’ spokesman vehemently denied.

The investigation into the governor’s office is still ongoing.