Greene County's sheriff files lawsuit against state's auditor over county whistleblowers

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott is suing the Missouri auditor.

The attorney for Sheriff Arnott says he wants to find out what claims whistleblowers are making against him and other county leaders. Pat Keck, the sheriff's attorney, says the lawsuit isn't trying to disclose the names of those making the allegations. But she tells us the sheriff cannot investigate possible improper actions without knowing what the complaints say specifically.

"We have never asked for the identities," said Keck. "Since our first letter requesting information for the complaint we have asked them to delete the identity information. Each time we've asked them to provide the nonexempt material, we've always asked them to delete the identity. If it is a complaint about something being done wrong in the sheriff's department, he wants to fix it."

Auditor Nicole Galloway has offered to conduct an investigation into the allegations at no cost. The county will not agree to the state conducting an audit and is, instead, paid a private law firm for its own investigation.

A citizens petition is also underway to force an investigation by the state auditor's office at no cost to Greene County.