TARGET 8: Auditor to review 'questionable' government settlement agreements

1 year 3 months 1 week ago Wednesday, March 15 2017 Mar 15, 2017 Wednesday, March 15, 2017 4:07:00 PM CDT March 15, 2017 in Target 8
By: Jamie Grey, KOMU 8 Chief Investigator & Madeline Odle, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway announced a new review of "potentially improper or inappropriate" government payouts. The announcement Wednesday came amid a discussion in the Missouri House about possible review mechanisms, as well as a Target 8 investigation into the frequency and dollar amounts of government settlements at the state and local level.

"I am concerned about potential inappropriate payments agreed to by the Missouri Conservation Commission, and will immediately begin a review to determine whether other state agencies are negotiating back-channel settlements with taxpayer dollars," Galloway stated in a news release.

Galloway specifically referenced recent findings that a former Department of Conservation director was still being paid his salary for eight months after his work ended, possibly as part of a settlement agreement related to claims against the department.

Settlement agreement in firefighter death case

On Monday, the University of Missouri Board of Curators went into the final steps of a settlement with the widow of Columbia Fire Lieutenant Bruce Britt, who died after a walkway collapsed at MU-owned University Village Apartments in February 2014. A circut judge preliminarily approved a settlement this week, with some conditions, though the UM System clarified the settlement is not complete. Previously, in 2014, the board had denied wrongdoing.

With the settlement negotiations appearing to near their end, the Target 8 team began looking into settlements at local and state government levels. On Tuesday, viewers reacted to the issue during a Facebook Live chat.

New legislation aims to review settlement payments

House Minority Leader Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, is sponsoring legislation that would force the state attorney general's office to make monthly reports to lawmakers about all account activity involving the state's legal expense fund. According to the Kansas City Star, the state paid more than $52 million in settlements over five years, prompting questions from lawmakers.

On Wednesday, McCann Beatty discussed the issue with KOMU 8 News, and she said the new legislation has bipartisan support. She said the state has already exceeded its appropriated funds for the year. 

"We are budgeting some $6 million, and we've exceeded over $28 million so far this year," McCann Beatty said. "Previous years we were close to three times that." 

Watch KOMU 8 News at 10 for the full story on government settlements, including interviews with a lawmaker and the city of Columbia.

(Editor's note: This project is part of a special Town Square initiative, involving viewers in the reporting process as the investigative team works to report in-depth on a pressing issue related to current news stories.)

More News

Grid
List
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border was plunged deeper into chaos over President Donald Trump's... More >>
25 minutes ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:52:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign around five bills Friday. The governor's office has not yet... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:17:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- More than 30 children attending a summer camp in Florida were taken to the hospital Thursday after they... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:12:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - Authorities said a Gravois Mills woman died in a one-vehicle car accident near Laurie, Missouri. According... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide campaign encourages expecting mothers to monitor their infant's movement in the womb. The Missouri... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - After months of tension between citizens and city officials, the city council met for the first time... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:30:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Police in Auxvasse posted a warning on Facebook Wednesday about unlicensed salesmen in the area, but the company... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:15:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - 1 and 6 males are sexually abused by the time they are 18. For the first time... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is changing some of its rules and regulations to offer more leave and layoff... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Supreme Court ruling that allows states to charge online retailers sales tax has Columbia businesses rejoicing. ... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:18:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge has decided in favor of University of Missouri graduate students who want to unionize. The... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:37:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – A man accused of killing a Moberly woman five years ago is found guilty of murder in the... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in Top Stories
WASHINGTON - Gov. Mike Parson met with President Donald Trump Thursday to discuss Missouri's top priorities. “I appreciate President... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:51:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri mental health advocates showed up at a meeting Thurday to voice their concerns about budget cuts... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:32:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Although "Shwe Market International Foods" mainly sells Asian products and "Chihuahua Mexican Market" Hispanic products, both stores have... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has appointed Latha Ramchand as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. She was dean... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man and woman Wednesday after a reported robbery with a gun earlier in the week.... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 12:00:35 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — A husband and wife from southwestern Missouri have been ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for cashing... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:22:42 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
9am 69°
10am 69°
11am 69°
12pm 70°