Hawley blasted Galloway on social media, accusing her of altering audits for political reasons and keeping political consultants on her office’s payroll. He referred to her office as a “case study in corruption.”
NEWS: Missouri State Accountancy Board informs me they are opening an investigation of Nicole Galloway for political abuse of her office and audits. Political consultants on payroll, audits altered for political reasons … Galloway’s office is case study in corruption pic.twitter.com/JLyCOfmjlW
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) September 23, 2020
Hawley submitted the complaint in February, according to a screenshot posted on the Republican senator’s Twitter account. The notice, sent by a Jefferson City law firm to his personal attorney, indicated that Hawley’s complaint had been received and an investigation into the allegations was underway.
The document also said the board only has the disciplinary powers set forth in Chapter 362 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri (which relates to professional licensure) rather than those in Chapter 29 which is specific to the state auditor position.
Galloway confirmed the investigation in a call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, saying that the complaint was a political tactic in an election year.
“This is not a nonpartisan board,” Galloway said. “These members are appointed by the governor. It’s clear political retaliation for an audit that was conducted with professionalism and by-the-book.”
She went on to say her opponents were “using the apparatus of government itself to do their political dirty work.”
A representative from the Board of Accountancy said she was not able to discuss complaints or investigations. Hawley’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Hawley and Galloway have sparred publicly over the past year. Galloway released an audit of Hawley’s time as Missouri’s attorney general last month, alleging a number of issues with payroll, expense reporting, and vehicle usage logs. An earlier partial audit said his actions in office “gave an appearance of impropriety.”
Hawley leveled similar allegations against the auditor earlier this year, criticizing her conduct during the audits and the hiring of the campaign manager for former U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, his Democratic opponent in his 2018 race.
Hawley was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 after serving as Missouri’s attorney general for two years. Galloway has served in her capacity since 2015 and won the Democratic nomination for Missouri governor in the August primary election.