Missouri Democrats call on House speaker to answer questions about his side business

09/09/2013 4:50 PM

09/09/2013 5:05 PM

Democrats on Monday called on the speaker of the Missouri House to provide more detail about Missouri Freedom Alliance, a company he founded and from which he has occasionally reported earning income.

House Speaker Tim Jones, a Republican, says

the company that he founded in 2007 has no ties whatsoever to his legislative job

. Jones works as an lawyer with a St. Louis firm, and he says Missouri Freedom Alliance’s only focus over the years has been legal consulting on private matters that his firm can’t handle. In filings with the state, Jones reported income from the company of at least $1,000 in 2008 and 2012.

But in a letter to the speaker signed by House Minority Leader Jake Hummel of St. Louis and Assistant Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty of Kansas City, the Democratic lawmakers argued that the secrecy surrounding Missouri Freedom Alliance “raises troubling issues about whether the private work you perform for compensation is in conflict with your public duties as a state legislator and speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives.”

Missouri Freedom Alliance has no online presence, and it shares the same post office box as Jones’ district legislative office and campaign office in Eureka, a St. Louis suburb. Jones said he can’t discuss whom he has worked with through the company because of attorney-client privilege.

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