Missouri House speaker says he will close outside company

09/17/2013 9:07 AM

09/17/2013 9:07 AM

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones has told a St. Louis-based news website that he will close the company he set up to handle outside legal work for private clients.

Jones, a Republican from Eureka, told the St. Louis Beacon that the Missouri Freedom Alliance LLC will be shut down. The website reported the comment Monday.

A Kansas City Star article Sept. 7 examined Jones’ relationship with the Missouri Freedom Alliance. In an interview for that report, Jones initially said he provided basic legislative advice to the company’s clients. Some critics called the business a potential conflict of interest.

He later changed his explanation, telling the newspaper that his services to Missouri Freedom Alliance customers were unrelated to the legislative process. He repeated the statement to the Beacon.

Jones declined to comment to The Star on Monday. He told the Beacon that the Missouri Freedom Alliance was set up in 2007 as a place to put his outside private work in case he lost his job with a law firm. Jones began his legislative career in 2007.

“I do not do political consulting,” Jones told the website. “I do not do lobbying. I do not work on campaigns, except for free.”

Some Democrats have challenged Jones’ differing explanations for the company.

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