State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s alleged use of state resources in her gubernatorial campaign is the subject of a new complaint filed by the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).
“The law clearly forbids officials from using government resources for political purposes, which is especially important to protect taxpayer funds from misuse when a state official is also conducting a political campaign,” FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold said.
The non-partisan ethics group’s complaint with the Secretary of State’s Office said Galloway met with the Moms Demand Action group in her state office on Feb. 18. The grassroots group — which advocates for greater gun control and safety measures — awarded Galloway with its “Gun Sense Candidate” distinction in April before holding a fundraiser for her campaign in August.
“Galloway’s official calendar stated she met with a group at her state office — a meeting that apparently had a political purpose based on the fact that afterwards they endorsed her views and the head of the organization directly raised funds for her campaign,” Arnold said. “Governing and campaigning are legally separated for a reason, and if this political meeting did in fact take place in her government office it would constitute a clear violation of Missouri law.”
A spokeswoman for Galloway did not respond to a request for comment.
Galloway has faced similar allegations in recent months. GOP Senator Josh Hawley leveled his own accusations in September, revealing on social media that the Missouri State Board of Accountancy had opened an investigation into his complaints about her time in the Auditor’s Office. Hawley’s complaint accused Galloway of keeping political consultants on the office’s payroll and altering audits for political reasons.
Liberty Alliance, a conservative group, filed another complaint last month, alleging the use of state staff and resources in her gubernatorial campaign. Steph Deidrick, Galloway’s press secretary, said then that the office operated within the confines of state regulations.
“The operations of Auditor Galloway’s office are open, accessible to the public and in compliance with the law,” Deidrick said. “Anyone is welcome to view the hundreds of thousands of pages of public business that are publicly available online and free of charge.”
Galloway faces Republican incumbent Gov. Mike Parson in this year’s election. As of September, Parson had nearly $2 million cash on hand. Galloway boasted more than $2.1 million in her warchest.