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Audit finds Nixon’s office spends almost $2 million from other agencies

A state audit report released Wednesday shows Gov. Jay Nixon’s office spent, over a three year period, nearly $2 million from other agencies in order to fund a number of things, including salary and travel expenses.

“This is money for AG (agriculture) and this is money for corrections and this is money for DED (Department of Economic Development) and on and on and on. But the governor’s office is reaching into some those of appropriations to pay for people who are actually doing governor’s office duties.” said State Deputy Auditor Harry Otto.

Otto said past governor’s have also spent money from other state agencies but not to this extent. In 2012 the state Legislature passed a bill making the practice illegal for the governor.

“It continues after the Legislature addressed the issue and passed some legislation, which is now law, that said that other agencies should not be charged for expenses that are attributable to the governor’s office,” said Otto.

In response to the audit, Nixon’s office said, “The office accounts for its operational costs in a manner that properly reflects the nature of the work it performs.”

The audit also found extraneous travel costs, including use of the state plane instead of a commercial flight, and a staff retreat that included an expense-paid river trip.

The auditor’s office gave Nixon’s office a “fair” audit rating, the second lowest out of four ratings.

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