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State auditor sues Gov. Nixon

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State Auditor Tom Schweich's office filed suit Aug. 26 against Gov. Jay Nixon, alleging he violated the Missouri Constitution and failed to utilize established accounting principles with state monies.

By withholding more than $170 million in funds appropriated for state agencies and programs for Joplin relief efforts, the lawsuit claims Nixon did so at violation of the Missouri Constitution. According to a news release from the state auditor's office, the constitution states the governor can only withhold funding based on current fiscal year revenue data, and, at the time, that information was unavailable.

Funds were withheld from more than 45 state programs and agencies, including Missouri Medicaid, community colleges and state universities, the Missouri Film Office and the Missouri Department of Transportation, among others, the release said.

The basis for the lawsuit was brought to light following a regularly scheduled audit of the governor's office in June.

Schweich also alleges that Nixon withheld funds from the Republican-controlled legislature and the Republican auditor, but the Democratic governor did not cut funds from his office or any elected Democratic officials statewide.

"Our state has recently experienced natural disasters of historic proportion. There is no dispute that the victims of the tornadoes and floods must be fully compensated for their tragic losses," Schweich said in the release. "But the process must be legal and transparent."

Calls to Nixon's office for comment were not returned by deadline.[[In-content Ad]]

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