A new report from the state auditor’s office reveals that former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was reckless with the state’s money during his administration, overspending what the legislature allotted to his office and using taxpayer money to pay for personal food and security costs.
The audit claims Nixon, a Democrat who was replaced by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens in January, effectively exceeded lawmaker-approved spending on his office, mansion and security by at least $2.2 million in fiscal years 2015 and 2016.
He did so by delaying paying bills and shifting expenses to other agencies, such as splitting the cost of travel on state planes with the Department of Economic Development, according to the closeout audit on Nixon.
Shifting costs to other state agencies “makes it difficult to establish accountability for the true and accurate costs of operating the Governor’s office,” the audit says. “This practice limits accountability and transparency over certain Governor’s office expenditures and distorts the operating costs of both the Governor’s office and the state agencies paying the Governor’s expenses.”
Missouri taxpayers are already stretched as it is, and it’s appalling to discover that their hard-earned money was going to fund excessive food and travel costs for Governor Nixon. It’s critical that Show-Me state politicians abide by the same rules as citizens across the state and live within their means.