JEFFERSON CITY • Gov. Eric Greitens says his office has complied with a request from the state auditor to turn over documents related to the management of income tax refunds.
A day after Auditor Nicole Galloway announced that her office had been forced to issue a subpoena for information from the state Department of Revenue, Greitens accused her of grandstanding.
“What she did yesterday was nothing but a political stunt,” Greitens told the Post-Dispatch. “Auditor Galloway knew from our office that she was going to get every piece of information that she was legally entitled to this week. And she has, in fact, received that information. It’s over 170 pages of documents.”
Galloway confirmed the receipt of the additional documents but could not say whether the information provided by the administration fully complied with her request.
“After weeks of my staff requesting the information and after taking the unprecedented step of issuing a subpoena, my office has received the Department of Revenue’s response. My staff is currently reviewing the information. I am hopeful that in the future the issuance of a subpoena will not be necessary for my office to do its job protecting taxpayers,” Galloway said in a statement.
If the documents aren’t sufficient, Galloway said Wednesday, she might have to go to court to ask a judge for assistance.
Galloway, the lone Democrat among statewide officers in the Capitol, said Wednesday that the lack of transparency by the administration appeared to be part of a trend.
She said the governor’s administration hasn’t been cooperative with routine audits, forcing her to issue a subpoena for the first time since she took office in 2015.
Greitens’ senior adviser Austin Chambers said the governor’s office has provided at least two letters to Galloway as well as a meeting that included an outline of when she would receive the information she sought.
Asked why Galloway held a news conference to announce the subpoena, Greitens said, “I can’t speak to her motivation.”
The governor, a political newcomer who took office on Jan. 9, said one of his first acts as chief executive was to restrict $146 million in spending in order to make sure bills, including tax refunds, are paid.
That action came after there were lengthy delays last year because of cash flow problems under former Gov. Jay Nixon.
Of the nearly 1.8 million tax refunds, more than 81,000 were not paid within a 45-day window, forcing the state to pay out $294,837 in interest to taxpayers, according to documents provided by his office.
Greitens said Galloway could have begun probing the late payments at that time, rather than now.
“If Auditor Galloway cared about this, she would have taken action on this issue last year,” Greitens said.