Gov. Mike Parson has instructed the Office of Administration against using Missouri taxpayer money to pay for adverse judgements involving three state senators – Nick Schroer, R-Defiance, Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, and Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg.

The ultra conservatives posted a photo on social media of Denton Loudermill, incorrectly stating that he is an undocumented immigrant and the mass shooter at the Chief’s Super Bowl parade. Loudermill is suing the lawmakers in a Kansas federal court.

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is representing the lawmakers in their defamation lawsuits. Attorney General Andrew Bailey said the senators are protected by legislative immunity because they were acting in their official capacity when they posted their comments.

Bailey’s office plans to move forward with representing Hoskins, Brattin, and Schroer. A spokesperson for the attorney general told Missourinet that his office will follow a law requiring the state to represent officials acting in connection with their official duties.

Bailey, a Republican, was appointed by Gov. Parson.

In the letter penned by Parson, the governor said he is tasked with responsibly recommending and spending taxpayer dollars. Parson said he cannot justify money spent in this way.

“Missourians should not be held liable for legal expenses on judgements due to state senators falsely attacking a private citizen on social media.”

Parson cited the same statute as Bailey did. He said the three senators voting against authorizing expenses from the state’s legal expense fund, highlighting that they do not financially support the fund that would be responsible for covering their behavior.

In a statement from the Missouri Office of Administration, it said the Commissioner of Administration is responsible for certifying payments out of the legal expense fund for any claim or amount required by any final judgment rendered by the court consistent with Missouri law. The statement includes the same statute as the Attorney General’s Office and Governor’s Office provided.

“The Office of Administration has received Governor Parson’s letter to Commissioner Zellers. OA will comply with the Governor’s directive and Missouri law. We want to stress that to date, no such judgment or claim has been submitted for this purpose.”

Copyright © 2024, Missourinet.