A special interest group says the Missouri Ethics Commission has reversed itself and will investigate its complaint against state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, a Republican who is running for Missouri attorney general.
The group — the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, known as FACT — Schaefer improperly pressured Tim Wolfe, then-president of the University of Missouri System, to make it harder for a law school faculty member to run for office.
The faculty member, Josh Hawley, is also running for attorney general in the GOP primary. Schaefer heads the Missouri Senate’s Appropriations Committee, giving him significant influence over the university’s budget.
Schaefer, of Columbia, hasn’t denied the conversation with Wolfe but said it was meant to save taxpayer money.
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He said the ethics complaint was politically motivated and filed by Hawley’s associates and friends.
Wolfe disclosed the conversation in an email made public after his resignation.
In late April, FACT said the Ethics Commission had determined the allegations involved issues outside the commission’s oversight. But in a letter released Thursday, the commission told FACT it would open an investigation.