JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The State Auditor’s Office penned the Governor’s Office looking for answers on whether public funds will be used to pay for private attorneys to represent Gov. Eric Greitens.

“As Auditor, it is my duty to hold every elected official accountable for the responsible use of taxpayer dollars. The people of Missouri deserve to know whether their tax dollars are being used to represent the Governor in any disciplinary action before the legislature,” said Nicole Galloway, the state auditor.

The letter, addressed to Lucinda Luetkemeyer in the Office of the Governor, inquires into whether state funds are being used, or are anticipated to be used, to pay for private attorneys to represent any public employee, including Greitens, related potential disciplinary actions outlined in the call for special session.

“If the state has or will be paying private attorneys, identify what office, department, or division’s budget has or will be used to pay for these attorneys and the specific budget line anticipated to be used,” the letter states. The number of attorneys hired and who they are is sought along with how much they are paid, a copy of the contracts, what their duties are, and

The auditor’s office is also seeking a copy of all requests for proposals, bid or contracts relating to the hiring of attorneys.

All contracts $25,000 or greater go through the Division of Purchasing in the Office of Administration. The Kansas City Star has reported Greitens’ office has enlisted two private attorneys — Ross Garber at $320 an hour and Edward Greim at $340 an hour. To reach the $25,000 contract — if the attorneys have separate contracts — Garber would need to work more than 78 hours and Greim would need to work 73 hours.

Information related to contracting, payment, job duties, and budgets are not privileged and are available to the auditor’s office under Missouri law.

“If state funds are being used to represent Governor Eric Greitens in his individual capacity, provide the legal justification for using state funds to represent an individual in discipline proceedings,” states the letter. “If state funds are being used to represent the Office of the Governor, state whether the attorney client privilege attaches to Governor Greitens or to the Office of the Governor, and any legal justification for your response.”

The auditor’s office requests the information no later than May 18, 2018, the special session is slated to begin.

On May 3, 2018, for the first time in history, the General Assembly called themselves into a special session. The special session is set to focus on accusations against Greitens and potential disciplinary actions the legislature can take.

Early this month, Greim sent a letter to the House on a potential timeline for proceedings and recommended guidelines.

Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at alisha@themissouritimes.com.