Wednesday, March 25, 2015

State audit criticizes Koster's conflicts of interest

(From the Missouri State Auditor's office)

Missouri Deputy State Auditor Harry Otto released the audit of the Missouri Attorney General's office (AGO) Tuesday.

In the areas audited, the overall performance of this entity was Fair.

The AGO lacks adequate policies and procedures to identify and address certain conflicts of interest. The attorney general recently acknowledged accepting campaign contributions and other gifts from companies and/or their attorneys and lobbyists, that were under investigation by the AGO. Accepting items from individuals or entities while the AGO has legal actions pending against them, or is investigating them for potential legal action, gives the appearance of a conflict of interest.

In Nov. 2014, the attorney general announced he will no longer take contributions from people or companies under investigation by his office, either currently or in the previous 90 days, or from lobbyists or attorneys representing those individuals or companies; and will not accept gifts from registered lobbyists. As of Feb. 2015, the AGO has yet to adopt this directive in a formal policy.

The attorney general provided salary increases to over 200 employees during the period Jan. 2012 to August 2014. These increases represented an annual total increase in salaries of $1.2 million annually and averaged nine percent per raise. Of 42 raises reviewed, 18 raises (43 percent) totaling $67,262 do not appear reasonable.

To read the full report, visit:

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