Parson requests audit of Department of Public Safety Director’s Office

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Following a “concerning” internal review of the chief public safety officer’s office, Missouri’s Governor is asking for the state auditor to conduct a more in-depth examination.

On Tuesday, Gov. Mike Parson submitted a formal request to State Auditor Nicole Galloway to conduct an audit of the Department of Public Safety Director’s Office.

“Upon review of the Governor’s request, I have committed to performing an independent audit of the administrative practices of the Department of Public Safety,” said Galloway. “As with any review, we will determine the scope of the audit to appropriately address any concerns brought forward throughout the process.”

Sandy Karsten, then-Missouri State Highway Patrol Colonel, was appointed as the head of the Department of Public Safety on August 27, 2018. She replaced then-Director Drew Juden, who was appointed by former-Gov. Eric Greitens.

The Department of Public Safety oversees eight agencies — including the highway patrol, Missouri National Guard, and Veterans Commission — and roughly 15,000 employees.

Upon assuming the role of director, Karsten requested that the Office of Administration conduct an initial review of the DPS Director’s office.

“Our initial review raised concerns that warranted a more in-depth examination of past public safety administration practices,” Karsten said. “The previous state audit of the DPS Director’s Office was completed nearly five years ago. A state audit is the appropriate next step to ensure the DPS Director’s office is fulfilling its obligations to the people of Missouri.”

“Anytime a department director raises concerns about questionable use of taxpayer dollars, we take them very seriously– that’s why under these circumstances we have requested a state audit,” Parson said. “Director Karsten is doing a great job leading DPS and has a clear understanding about the importance of keeping government accountable to the people of Missouri.”

Galloway encouraged anyone with information about questionable use of taxpayer dollars by the Department of Public Safety to contact the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline at moaudit@auditor.mo.gov or by calling 800-347-8597. Concerns may also be submitted anonymously online at auditor.mo.gov/hotline.

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.