- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena Wednesday to the state Revenue Department to find out whether the agency is meeting deadlines for tax refunds.

Galloway, a Democrat, told reporters she requested information six weeks ago to check the state’s compliance with a 45-day deadline to issue refunds, as required by Missouri law. The state owes interest on refunds that are not paid by then.

Galloway said the agency is refusing to provide records for the latest fiscal year, hindering her audit.

“The governor and his Department of Revenue are not being transparent with taxpayers,” Galloway said. “If the new administration intends to operate state government behind a wall of secrecy, I will use the full authority of my office to ensure transparency and accountability.”

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens took office in January. He named Joel Walters, a former partner at accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, as revenue director.

Requests for comment from The Associated Press to Greitens’ spokesman and the Department of Revenue were not immediately returned Wednesday. Galloway said members of her office have met with the governor’s legal counsel and high-level staffers about the issue.

The subpoena calls for the records to be provided April 28. Galloway said she’ll go to court if the agency does not comply.

This is the first time Galloway has subpoenaed records, but the power has been used by previous state auditors seeking information.

Former Democratic Auditor Susan Montee in 2007 sued in Cole County to force the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority to turn over the documents about its secret meetings. Her lawsuit came a day after the agency’s governing board refused to comply with Montee’s subpoena seeking the records.

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