The revelation by Governor Blunt’s office that Blunt broke the law in the investigation of one of his own cabinet members leaves his staff trying to figure out where to go from here. Blunt spokesman, Spence Jackson, admits his boss broke the law, at least technically, by ordering the Highway Patrol to investigate alleged misconduct of state Agriculture Director Fred Ferrell earlier this year. Investigators with the Highway Patrol, Water Patrol, state Alcohol and Tobacco Control, and the Capitol Police looked into undisclosed allegations against Ferrell, resulting in a two-week suspension for the Agriculture Director. The request violated a 1939 law outlining what the patrol can and cannot do. But Jackson says the governor relied on past interpretations by other governors, both Republican and Democrat, that using the Highway Patrol to do investigations and background checks was okay. Jackson says the governor should not be in any legal trouble. He says now Blunt is looking at how to vett candidates for other state positions without breaking the law. As far as the original issue with State Agriculture Director Ferrell, Jackson says that’s a closed matter. He refers to it as a “personnel matter”.
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