State Auditor Nicole Galloway wants to know more details about Gov. Eric Greitens' legal bills - including who's paying them - by Friday.
In a letter dated Monday and released Tuesday, Galloway's general counsel, Paul Harper, asked Greitens' general counsel, Lucinda Luetkemeyer, if the governor's office "has used, or may anticipate using, public funds to pay for private attorneys to represent (the governor) related to discipline of the Governor as outlined in the petition for special session of the Missouri General Assembly."
Lawmakers on May 3 called themselves into a 30-day special session that begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, for the "sole purpose" of considering the findings and recommendations of the special House committee formed in March to investigate Greitens' legal situation, including "but not limited to, disciplinary actions against" the governor.
In a statement issued with the letter, Galloway said: "It is my duty to hold every elected official accountable for the responsible use of taxpayer dollars. The people of Missouri deserve to know whether their tax dollars are being used to represent the Governor in any disciplinary action before the legislature."
Harper said the auditor's office previously has "had concerns related to the contracting and use of private attorneys to represent state government entities," and asks for detailed information "if the state has or will be paying private attorneys."
Attorneys Ross Garber and Eddie Greim told The Associated Press they've been hired to represent the governor's office in potential House impeachment proceedings against Greitens.
Garber says he's charging $320 an hour, which is half his normal rate, the AP reported. Greim says he and colleague Dane Martin are charging $340 an hour.
The two-page letter asks Luetkemeyer for:
The number of attorneys already hired.
The number of additional attorneys the governor's office anticipates hiring.
Copies of all requests for proposals, bids or contracts related to hiring those outside attorneys.
Copies of each outside attorney's contract.
The amounts the attorneys "have been and are being paid," as well as "copies of any itemized billings."
A complete list of the attorneys who have been hired, "under what budget lines each attorney has or will be paid," and the amount each attorney has received or is anticipated to receive.
Specific descriptions of each of outside attorney's duties.
Harris reminded Luetkemeyer that information about contracts, payments, "job duties, and budgets are not privileged and are available" to the auditor's office under state law.
"If state funds are being used to represent Governor Eric Greitens in his individual capacity, provide the legal justification for using state funds to represent an individual in discipline proceedings," Harper wrote.
"If state funds are being used to represent the Office of the Governor, state whether the attorney client privilege attaches to Governor Greitens or to the Office of the Governor, and any legal justification for your response."