The Buzz

Audit of Gov. Jay Nixon’s office finds issues, gives grade of “fair”


A new audit of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s office revealed issues with pay raises and Nixon’s well-established habit of supplementing the budget of his office and the operation of the governor’s mansion through funds from other state agencies.

The audit was released Wednesday morning and overseen at least in part by interim state Auditor John Watson, who was Nixon’s long-time chief of staff.

The review rated the fiscal performance of Nixon’s office as fair.

One big beef: Nixon’s office continues to rely on funds from other state agencies to supplement the budget of his office and the governor’s mansion.

“This is despite appropriation bill provisions, effective since fiscal year 2012, prohibiting most state agencies from paying staffing and travel costs of the governor's office,” a statement from the auditor’s office said.

“From July 2011 to June 2014, 14 agencies funded all or part of the salaries and travel costs for six employees of the governor's office and mansion for a total of approximately $948,000.”

The Department of Public Safety, the audit said, paid about $85,000 to cover 49 flights for members of the governor’s staff.

The report also said that Nixon’s office provided salary increases to six employees beyond raises given to most state workers. The increases cost the state about $42,000 a year and provided raises from 5-21 percent.