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Judge rules for Auditor Galloway in open records lawsuit

Judge rules for Auditor Galloway in open records lawsuit

January 28th, 2019 by Associated Press in Missouri News

FILE - In this April 10, 2017 file photo, Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway speaks at a news conference in Jefferson City, Mo.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A judge has ruled that Missouri Auditor Nichole Galloway did not violate the state's open records law after a conservative nonprofit sought records from an audit of the Department of Revenue.

The Missouri Alliance for Freedom sued Galloway in May 2017, accusing her of not releasing all the records required under the Sunshine Law.

Galloway's attorney noted during a trial in August that her office turned over screenshots of some text messages, along with 45,000 pages of other communications.

A central issue was the auditor's office use of iPhones that automatically erase messages after 30 days. The Missouri Alliance for Freedom said that policy violated the office's procedures for preserving records.

Cole County Judge Jon Beetem ruled Monday that the organization hadn't proven the auditor's office either intentionally or mistakenly violated the Sunshine Law.