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Clay County Residents Deliver Petitions Demanding State Audit Of County Government

Missouri Auditor's Office
Missouri Auditor's Office

Clay County residents who want a complete state audit of county finances and operations took a step closer to that Friday.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway's office confirmed about 9,100 signatures were delivered by a group called Citizens For A Better Clay County.

If 5,590 are valid, then state law mandates that Galloway conduct the audit.

The audit would be both of finances and operations, according to the auditor's office.

The group has three main concerns, according to Jason Withington, the driving force behind the petitions.

Residents complain about a lack of transparency, record tampering and tens of thousands of dollars in penalties the county has incurred because it has failed to pay bills in a timely way.

"We have nothing to hide," says Clay County administrator Dean Brookshier. "It's unfortunate because we really don't know what the state audit will cost."

State law says the organization being audited picks up the tab. In the case of Clay County, that could run as high as $150,000. The auditor's office does say it works with local governments to set up payment plans.

Galloway will also be auditing Jackson County.

Sam Zeffis KCUR's Metro Reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter: @samzeff

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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