Commissioner rent agreements may be included in Clay County audit, MO Auditor says

KMBZ News Staff
February 24, 2020 - 7:25 am

Bob Weston / Getty Images


CLAY COUNTY, Mo. -- Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway is signaling the latest Clay County government controversy could be added to the ongoing audit of the county, which county officials have been fighting unsuccessfully in the state's courts for months.

Two top Clay County officials are living rent-free in county-managed homes, according to recently uncovered leasing agreements. The circumstances around those leases aren't clear, but Auditor Galloway said there's a good chance she will take a look at it in her audit, due later this year. 

"We look at leases, we look at employment agreements, we look at contracts," Auditor Galloway explained. "So this is absolutely something that we'd look at in the course of an audit."

Assistant county administrators, Nicole Brown and Brad Garrett, signed leases to live in county-managed properties near Smithville Lake, rent free.

The contracts stipulate that they do have to pay for upkeep and utilities at the properties, but some residents and officials are wondering how the leases came to be and why they are still in effect.

Galloway's comments came after county staffers blocked efforts by Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte to bring the matter forward for public discussion.

"This is something, clearly, that the government is doing, that the people are not happy with the process," Notle said. 

Brown and Garrett deny any wrongdoing, and a possible probe of the matter by Auditor Galloway could draw a line under the issue. 

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