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Hawley faces election complaint for misuse of funds

Nonprofit organization American Democracy Legal Fund filed an elections complaint against Sen.-elect Josh Hawley on Election Day after Kansas City Star reporting indicated Hawley might have violated election laws.

The complaint, which was filed with Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office, alleges that Hawley “used public funds as Attorney General to support his candidacy for U.S. Senate.” The complaint cites emails obtained by the Kansas City Star in October, which allege that Hawley’s staff, who were paid by taxpayer dollars, were instructed by out-of-state political consultants to raise awareness of Hawley’s profile.

The emails suggest that staff took direction from the political consultants and met with them on government property, under Hawley’s watch, the complaint said.

“Hawley suggested nobody is above the law. And, as Missouri’s chief law enforcement officer and advisor, neither is he,” ADLF President Brad Woodhouse wrote. “Hawley’s conduct violates the trust that Missourians gave him to serve the public interest and enforce this state’s laws honorably. And most of all, Hawley’s conduct appears to demonstrate a misuse of public funds.”

As of Monday, Ashcroft’s office had not made a decision on whether or not to investigate the claims. Ashcroft has until the beginning of December to notify Hawley of an investigation.

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