JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Attorneys for the State Auditor are requesting the courts to dismiss the lawsuit against the office on behalf of the Missouri Alliance for Freedom.
The lawsuit stems from a July civil suit seeking to compel Auditor Nicole Galloway to produce documents related to an audit of the Department of Revenue, which was requested under the state’s open records law.
According to a news release from the Auditor’s Office, the office has been fulfilling the requests according to an established schedule, but said that on Nov. 16, the Missouri Alliance for Freedom asked them to discontinue their fulfilling that request and then filed 13 new open records requests.
“To date, we have provided more than 24,000 pages of documents at no charge in response to records requests by Missouri Alliance for Freedom. We will continue to comply with their additional requests and remain committed to transparency.
“This sudden disinterest in records previously requested strongly suggests this lawsuit is not about obtaining information,” the statement continued. “Instead, it appears to be a deliberate effort to intimidate the State Auditor and obstruct a thorough review of state agencies, specifically the audit of the timeliness of tax refunds. Despite these ongoing efforts to stall Auditor Galloway’s work to expose misuse of taxpayer dollars, she remains committed to tearing down the walls of secrecy surrounding state business by investigating fraud and mismanagement at all levels.”
As a response to those actions by the MAF, the State Auditor’s attorneys have filed an amendment to their motion for a protective order, saying that the request are unduly burdensome and harassing in nature. They also argue that the “lack of ripeness” renders the requests as little more than a “very expensive waste of time.”
In short, they ask the courts to change the December 1, 2017 deadline for discovery be stayed indefinitely.
You can read both the motion to dismiss and the amended motion for the protective order in the documents below.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.