The outgoing House Speaker is anticipated to announce a committee in response to a New York Times article that tied Missouri’s Attorney General to donations from a company he had halted an investigation of.
The article published two weeks ago by the New York Times says Attorney General Chris Koster (D) stopped an investigation into the maker of 5-hour energy drinks after being approached by a company lobbyist. It says that lobbyist’s firm donated money to Koster, and alleged other connections between Koster and potential subjects of investigations.
House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) says he wants a committee to determine if the Attorney General’s office needs more accountability.
“I’m not necessarily saying right now that Attorney General Koster did anything wrong or not,” says Jones. “I think there’s some things to be very concerned about,” says Jones.
Jones says he would welcome Koster’s assistance with that committee.
“If he thinks that he has done absolutely no wrong, but maybe there’s some appearances of impropriety that he would think could be corrected for future attorneys general so that they don’t fall into the same traps that he did, I’m going to welcome that discussion,” says Jones.
Jones says there is a difference between when legislators receive donations from those impacted by legislation they work with, and when the Attorney General receives money from those who are or could be investigated by that office.
“The huge difference that exists is with the legislative process everything is open and transparent to the public,” says Jones. He says the Attorney General’s Office is, “not transparent at all … and so when you have these thing happen like what the New York Times Article describes and then you have a massive, massive campaign contribution that makes pretty much any contributions that hit the General Assembly pale in comparison, it causes questions to be asked, validly, and it hints at least the appearance of improprieties.”