JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General’s Office calls a complaint that Josh Hawley used public resources to aid his successful bid for U.S. Senate “a frivolous act of political harassment.”
The complaint was filed on October 31, 2018, by Brad Woodhouse, the president of the American Democracy Legal Fund, a left-leaning organization. The Secretary of State’s Office announced last week that they were investigating the allegations and has reached out to the state Auditor’s Office for help.
The allegations made in the complaint surfaced in a Kansas City Star report.
In his complaint, Woodhouse alleged that Hawley misused state resources “by instructing political consultants to direct state, taxpayer-paid staff to undertake tasks to raise Hawley’s profile in his bid to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate.”
In a letter to the Secretary of State’s Office, Solicitor General John Sauer said the complaint — which he called “a frivolous act of political harassment” — “piles hearsay upon hearsay from unidentified sources” and “fails to meet the legal requirements.”
Sauer notes that no campaign existed at the time of the alleged “expenditures” and there is no evidence present of any communication that “advocated, supported, or opposed” any candidate for any public office.
“The timing, the content, and the source of the complaint all indicate that this complaint is not brought in good faith, but for the sole purpose of politically motivated harassment,” states Sauer.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has asked State Auditor Nicole Galloway — the lone Democrat holding a statewide elected office — to help investigate the allegations.
Galloway is set to do a closeout of Hawley’s administration and Ashcroft would like her to share relevant records. He also wants his office to sit in on interviews that may be conducted.
Read Sauer’s full letter below:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.