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Galloway sworn in as Missouri auditor; names senior staff

Nicole Galloway takes the oath of office as Missouri auditor from Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Russell.
File photo | Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

(Updated 4/28/2015, 11:58 a.m.)

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway has named her new senior staff.

In a press release issued Tuesday, she named John Luetkemeyer as Deputy State Auditor and Michael Moorefield as Chief of Staff.

Luetkemeyer has been with the Missouri Auditor's office since 1981.  He was promoted to executive staff in 2008 under former Auditor Susan Montee, a Democrat, and also served as Director of State Audits under Tom Schweich, a Republican.

Moorefield has been with the State Treasurer's office since July 2013, where he most recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Moorefield and Luetkemeyer both begin their new jobs Tuesday.

(Original story)

Nicole Galloway is Missouri's new state auditor.

She was sworn in Monday afternoon in front of the auditor's office inside the Capitol. In her opening remarks, Galloway paid tribute to her predecessor, the late Tom Schweich, and to his spokesman Spence Jackson.

"A priority of this office, moving forward, will be to continue the vital work Auditor Schweich performed, bringing the office closer to taxpayers," Galloway said. "This office is essential for ensuring citizens get the most for their money, and Auditor Schweich, with the assistance of Mr. Jackson, made that work easier to understand."

Schweich was one of the leading Republican contenders for Missouri governor in 2016. He killed himself in his Clayton home Feb. 26 after complaining that rivals within the state GOP had begun a "whisper campaign" against him.

Jackson also fatally shot himself in his Jefferson City apartment on March 27, just over a month after Schweich's suicide.  Jackson left a note reading, "I'm so sorry. I just can't take being unemployed again."

Galloway, a Democrat, will serve out the remainder of Schweich's term. He was re-elected in November and did not face a Democratic opponent.

During a brief press availability with reporters following her swearing-in, Galloway was asked if she would take a bipartisan approach based on last November's election results. Schweich won handily, in part because he had no Democratic opponent.

"Missourians want to see results," Galloway answered. "They want someone to do the job and get stuff done for them, they want someone to hold government accountable, they want efficient and effective government, and that's what I'm going to do ... day in and day out, Missourians want to see results and they don't care much about party (affiliation)."

Galloway takes over from acting auditor John Watson, whom Nixon appointed after Schweich's death.  Also leaving the auditor's office are Schweich's chief of staff, Trish Vincent, and Deputy Auditor Harry Otto.

Otto said in an interview last week that he was told his services would no longer be needed once Galloway took over as State Auditor, and that if asked to stay on board that he would have considered it.  Otto is officially retiring from state service.

When asked by reporters about Otto, Galloway repeatedly answered, "he resigned," and she also said she wished Otto and Vincent well.

Galloway had served as Boone County treasurer since April 2011 and, at age 32, is now the youngest statewide official in Missouri.

During a brief speech to more than 200 supporters, Galloway said that one of her top priorities will be guarding against cyber-security threats.

"People can access data from around the globe," Galloway said. "We must ensure criminals near and far do not access our personal data in your children's schools (or) within state or local government. … Government must held accountable to keep private data safe and secure."

As for how those cyber security measures will be implemented, she answered, "We're going to add cyber security to audit procedures, include that as part of our review for state and local governments and all levels of government."

Galloway says she also intends to complete audits that are in progress and will recuse herself if any conflicts of interest arise.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

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