JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — With the budget still unfinished and Monday’s conference committee cancelled, House Speaker Tim Jones announced on Monday the formation of a House committee on privacy protection to investigate the extent of wrongdoing in the Department of Revenue document scanning controversy.
“These inconsistencies are inexcusable,” Jones said, speaking in the same room where the budget committee had been set to meet. “It is the House’s duty and responsibility to formally continue investigate this incident through the bi-partisan investigative committee on privacy protection which I am organizing and forming to aid in our search for the answers Missourians deserve.”
Jones said the mandate of the committee would be to investigate the circumstances leading up to the release of the names of 163,000 conceal carry weapons permits to federal investigators, determine if such private information is still available, and determine legislative and regulatory policies and procedures to rectify the situation.
The committee was instructed to submit a report by Sept. 1 this year to determine if laws were broken or protocols were ignored, at which point they will be asked to make recommendations. Jones said the Nixon administration would be compelled by subpoena if they did not cooperate with the committee.
The committee appears to be aimed at investigating what, if any, wrongdoing took place on the part of Gov. Jay Nixon. When asked by reporters what was left for this committee to do that was not already publicly known, Jones responded that Nixon needed to agree with him and the legislature that something wrong took place.
“What’s left is for the governor to agree that there was a problem and that we need to come up with a solution,” Jones said. “He has not given us any indication as to what legislation he would support that is currently in the pipeline.”
The committee, which was formed under House Rule 21 allowing individuals to be contracted by the Speaker to do certain work for the House, has not been fully announced.
Confirmed members of the committee at this time include: Stoddard county prosecuting attorney Russ Oliver, Audrain county Sheriff Stuart Miller, former general counsel and Director of the Department of Revenue, Omar Davis, Jefferson county sheriff Glenn Boyer, former state representative and retired FBI agent Glenn Fuhr and Randolph county prosecuting attorney Mike Fusselman.
More members of the committee may yet be named, according to Jones.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.