Agency paid for Mo. gov’s travel aide

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has a new right-hand man who accompanies him almost everywhere he travels. But until recently, that aide’s salary was paid by the Department of Economic Development — an arrangement that key lawmakers say may violate state budget restrictions.

State personnel records show Jeff Gettys, a former University of Missouri football player, officially began work in the governor’s office last month. But state flight records obtained by the Associated Press show Gettys was regularly traveling with Nixon as early as July while he remained on the payroll of the state’s economic agency.

The Missouri budget specifically prohibits the Department of Economic Development, as well as most other state agencies, from paying for the travel or staffing costs of the governor’s office or other statewide officials.

Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said Wednesday he didn’t believe the administration violated that budget law with Gettys’ work arrangement.

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