A failed business venture in Cape Girardeau has led to formation of a special Senate investigative committee.

The “Watch Me Smile” Project turned into a big grimace last month when the Department of Economic Development discovered a man in line to get two million dollars in state aid was a convicted felon. The head of the company in line for the money for a dental and vision cooperative was on probation for writing thousands of dollars in bad checks.

Senate Leader Rob Mayer of Dexter has established a specific Government Accountability Committee.   “This is the type of thing that we want to Government Accountability Committee to look into and delve into,” he says, “It’s not only the Department of Economic Development but all of state government”

He says the committee will look into spending habits of all state departments. He hopes it can come up with cost-saving ideas through improved efficiency and accountability. 

The state discovered the problems with the “Watch Me Smile” project before it released any of the startup assistance money. 

 Hear Mayer explain his senate committees 5:33 mp3