JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Public Safety Director's Office will be audited after an internal review raised red flags about use of taxpayer money.
Auditor Nicole Galloway on Tuesday agreed to review the office. Both Gov. Mike Parson and new Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten requested the audit.
“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.”
Karsten had asked for an internal review after Parson appointed her at the end of August. Karsten says the internal review raised concerns that merit a more in-depth investigation of past administration practices.
“The previous state audit of the DPS Director’s Office was completed nearly five years ago,” Karsten said. “A state audit is the appropriate next step to ensure the DPS Director’s office is fulfilling its obligations to the people of Missouri.”
Karsten took over after former director Drew Juden resigned in August. It wasn't immediately clear why Juden was leaving the position.
Juden was appointed by Parson's predecessor, former Gov. Eric Greitens. Greitens resigned amid political and personal scandal in June.
State Auditor Nicole Galloway released a statement encouraging members of the public with relevant information on the misuse of taxpayer dollars to contact a whistleblower hotline.
“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,” she wrote. “As with any review, we will determine the scope of the audit to appropriately address any concerns brought forward throughout the process. I encourage anyone with information about questionable use of taxpayer dollars by the Department of Public Safety to contact my Whistleblower Hotline.
Citizens can 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 auditor.mo.gov/hotline.