Missouri’s Republican secretary of state has launched an investigation of its outgoing attorney general and Sen.-Elect Josh Hawley (R-MO), over accusations that Hawley misused public funds in order to help his political career.
“This office will commence an investigation into the alleged offense,” Khristine Heisinger, deputy general counsel in Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office, wrote to the American Democracy Legal Fund, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday.
Last month, ADLF filed a complaint asking for an investigation following a report that Hawley had “used public funds as Attorney General to support his candidacy for U.S. Senate.” The complaint cited an October report from the Kansas City Star that, using emails the paper had obtained, showed that political consultants had directed government officials in the attorney general’s office to do certain things in order to raise Hawley’s profile for his U.S. Senate bid.
The ADLF complaint adds: “Under Hawley’s oversight and with his approval, political consultants appear to have used Missouri’s taxpayer-funded resources to construct a carefully-curated communications strategy that would puff up Hawley’s public image and prepare him for his Senate candidacy.”
Hawley defeated incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November.