It has cost taxpayers nearly $400,000 to fly Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon around the state during his first two years in office as governor, with different state agencies picking up the tab, according to new documentation.
“These funding practices distort the actual costs of operating DMH and the governor’s office,” according to the audit report by former Missouri Auditor Susan Montee. She is now chair of the Missouri Democratic Party.
Last month, Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, a Republican who won in the November election running against Montee, said that he would examine Nixon’s travel expenses as part of a routine audit of the governor’s office.
The last flight paid by the governor’s office was on Jan. 31, 2009, when Nixon flew to survey ice damage.
Departments charged for flying include Missouri Department of Economic Development, Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, Missouri Department of Social Services, and Missouri Department of Agriculture.
Others include Missouri Department of Insurance, Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, Missouri Department of Public Safety, Missouri Department of Revenue, and Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Nixon said during a press conference in January in St. Louis that he thought it was fair for other state agencies to pay for his flights around Missouri when he was travelling to promote a particular department or program.