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Memo from former DOR director to Nixon’s office cites Napolitano letter

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Wednesday, Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters he had no knowledge of a letter he reportedly received from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during March 2010.

Gov. Jay Nixon
Gov. Jay Nixon

“I have not seen the letter you’re talking about,” Nixon said. “I honestly don’t know. It’s hard for me to comment on a letter I have not seen.”

On Thursday, Russ Oliver, the attorney opposing the Department of Revenue, released a memo from former Department of Revenue Director Alana Barragan-Scott to Nixon’s office referencing the letter.

March 19, 2010, two days after delivery of Napolitano’s letter, in her weekly update to the governor’s office, Barragan-Scott discussed the letter, stating: “U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano sent a letter to Gov. Nixon, and copied the Department, on March 17, 2010.  The Secretary acknowledged the state’s efforts to enhance the security standards of its state-issued driver licenses and identification cards.”

In a Joint Commission on Administrative Rules meeting Wednesday, Chairman Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, revealed the letter sent to Nixon from DHS Secretary Napolitano wherein she thanked him for his “efforts to comply with the REAL ID Act of 2005.”

After the governor denied any knowledge of the previous letter from Napolitano, his office provided The Missouri Times with four other letters sent to other governors also thanking them for their work implementing the Real ID bill, claiming it was a form letter.

“This memo is further evidence that the changes that are so controversial now were planned in 2010, which makes their failure to promulgate a rule even more egregious,” said Schmitt.

Nixon has been subpoenaed to appear for a deposition scheduled for May 3 in the Stoddard County lawsuit.

“It is time that Governor Nixon stop being evasive, stop ducking the truth and stop these outright lies,”  Oliver said. “The governor’s public comments and the existence of these and many more documents show that Gov. Nixon has personal knowledge of material facts which constitute crucial evidence in the Stoddard County lawsuit. Jay Nixon is not above the law and must submit to the deposition in Stoddard County.”

Oliver added, “[w]e deserve the truth, Eric Griffin’s due process rights demand the truth, and the people of Missouri deserve the truth. If the Governor elects to continue to lie about this situation I will continue to expose those untruths.”

To contact Scott Faughn, email, or via Twitter at @scottfaughn.