With each new session, we have entering “freshmen” legislators for the General Assembly. Typically, a Freshmen Tour is provided to help these newly elected legislators acclimate to their new responsibilities. Part of this “tour” includes traveling around the state, choosing offices at the Capitol, visits with various state department personnel to learn of their duties and roles, participating in mock floor debate, and learning about the formalities of House committees. The new “class” of legislators has been hard at these activities this week, and should be ready to go in early January. We wish them well!
In other news, Gov. Parson has asked for an audit of the Department of Public Safety. There have been some questions about administrative procedures within the department including allocation of some monies. The article below gives more detail on this story.
Department of Public Safety to be Investigated
Following an internal review of the chief public safety officer’s office, Missouri Governor Mike Parson is asking for the state auditor to conduct a more in-depth examination.
On Tuesday, Gov. Mike Parson submitted a formal request to State Auditor Nicole Galloway to conduct an audit of the Department of Public Safety Director’s Office.
“Upon review of the Governor’s request, I have committed to performing an independent audit of the administrative practices of the Department of Public Safety,” said Auditor Galloway. “As with any review, we will determine the scope of the audit to appropriately address any concerns brought forward throughout the process.”
Sandy Karsten, then-Missouri State Highway Patrol Colonel, was appointed as the head of the Department of Public Safety on Aug. 27, 2018. She replaced then-Director Drew Juden, who was appointed by former-Gov. Eric Greitens.
The Department of Public Safety oversees eight agencies — including the highway patrol, Missouri National Guard, and Veterans Commission — and roughly 15,000 employees.
Upon assuming the role of director, Karsten requested that the Office of Administration conduct an initial review of the DPS Director’s office.
“Our initial review raised concerns that warranted a more in-depth examination of past public safety administration practices,” Karsten said. “The previous state audit of the DPS Director’s Office was completed nearly five years ago. A state audit is the appropriate next step to ensure the DPS Director’s office is fulfilling its obligations to the people of Missouri.”
“Anytime a department director raises concerns about questionable use of taxpayer dollars, we take them very seriously — that’s why under these circumstances we have requested a state audit,” Parson said. “Director Karsten is doing a great job leading DPS and has a clear understanding about the importance of keeping government accountable to the people of Missouri.”
Galloway encouraged anyone with information about questionable use of taxpayer dollars by the Department of Public Safety to contact the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-347-8597. Concerns may also be submitted anonymously online at www.auditor.mo.gov/hotline
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at email@example.com. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.