State audit of Greene County to begin soon

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. The state of Missouri is about to conduct an audit of Greene County's books.

It's an audit the state auditor wanted to do for more than a year following whistle-blower complaints about spending.

Instead, government leaders in office at the time chose to pay a private auditor more than $300,000. This lead to complaints from taxpayers.

County leaders are still working to regain everyone's trust.

It's why members of the new county commission have asked Nicole Galloway's office to investigate.

"It is a financial audit but it is forensic, a little bit more detailed than just looking at receipts and expenditures," explained newly elected, presiding commissioner, Bob Dixon.

This is what many voters asked for a few years ago.

We asked, "How much does the past play into this audit and where do we go after the audit?"

"Well, you know I accept that that is going to be a factor as folks look at things. But there's really a good, renewed spirit of collaboration around the county and also with citizens. I sense a real understanding and a realization that office holders really are doing the absolute best they can," said Dixon.

He wants to settle any suspicions.

"When there is controversy that becomes the focal point. I think part of leadership is focusing on the entire picture. Yes, we must address those issues but when we focus on everything that's going well. We get a better picture," he said.

The commission agreed to pay $150,000 of tax payer funds for a more comprehensive audit than the free version initially offered.

Dixon said, "She'll have the ability to go everywhere and do a high level check and then drill down in areas where there are items of concern."

"I do believe that we will see cooperation from the county commission," said Missouri State Auditor, Nicole Galloway .

She is confident about working with officials this time around.

"I am hopeful. We were invited in to conduct this audit by the new members of the county commission. They provided us the ability to get answers on behalf of citizens which we have been asking for, for some time," she said.

Dixon said, "I think we'll be able to get through this. There may be a few bumps in the road but we'll be able to get all the questions answered."

Officials said the audit will start in a few weeks. There's no time frame on how long it will take to get it done.

We will continue to cover this and bring you updates when available.