Ethics questions continue to mount for Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway as more details trickle out surrounding allegations that she used her taxpayer-funded office to carry out a politically motivated audit targeting U.S. Senator Josh Hawley.
Now a major editorial board is calling for answers from Galloway as legislators consider additional investigations. Writing that “legitimate questions” have been raised about Galloway’s supposed impartiality, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch states that the allegations swirling around the Democrat could cause her reputation to “dissolve quickly.”
The Post-Dispatch took specific aim at an email from a top Galloway staffer suggesting she would “beef up” a certain section of the audit, writing that Galloway “should offer as much information about this troubling development as possible — as soon as possible.”
In a legislative oversight hearing last week, a senior member of Galloway’s staff revealed that multiple individuals holding senior positions in the auditor’s office are embroiled in the thick of the scandal: Audit Manager Pamela Allison, who authored the email that appeared to propose manipulating audit results to disadvantage Hawley and has still not spoken publicly or answered questions; Director of State Audits Bobby Showers, who Galloway’s office disclosed had been removed from overseeing the audit – only after allegations of bias were raised; and Senior Counsel David Kirby, a Democratic political operative who Galloway distanced from the audit in a bizarre statement released after the hearing.
As the Post-Dispatch editors point out, the only person who can truly and transparently address these issues is Nicole Galloway, noting that her staff’s apparent attempts to cover their tracks “doesn’t bode well for an innocent explanation,” and concluding that “[a]bsent some kind of explanation, the public is left with only assumptions of the worst.”
“When it comes to transparency, Nicole Galloway sure likes to talk the talk but she’s less keen on walking the walk,” said RGA Communications Director Amelia Chassé Alcivar. “Every drip drip drip of information that comes out about these allegations raises more questions than answers – it’s time for Nicole Galloway to play it straight with Missouri taxpayers.”