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Kinder wants finance board to examine approval process for economic development projects

Mo. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
(St. Louis Public Radio)
Mo. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

Mo. Lt. Gov, Peter Kinder wants the Missouri Development Finance Board to review the way it approves financing for economic development projects. The request comes in the wake of the Mamtek fiasco in Moberly.

The town of Moberly agreed to issue $39 million in bonds to Los Angeles-based Mamtek, which was to build an artificial sweetener plant.  But the project fell through, and when the company missed its bond payment, Moberly was stuck with a $39 million tab and its bond rating was downgraded.  Kinder says he wants to know what role Gov. Jay Nixon’s Economic Development department played in luring Mamtek to the state.

“It appears that proper due diligence would have been 6-to-8 months or longer, and it has been reported and not disputed that this deal was rushed through in 73 days,” Kinder said.

The State Development Finance Board is expected to discuss the matter at its board meeting next week in St. Louis.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating the matter.

The governor's office has not responded to a request for a comment.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.