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Montee wants to sue Metro, says agency not cooperating with audit

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee tells KWMU she wants to sue the transit agency Metro.

Former Auditor Claire McCaskill began investigating the agency in July 2005 after the MetroLink light rail extension project went $126 million over budget.

But Montee said Metro has refused to hand over key documents, and a lawsuit is the only way to get them.

"We tried to work something out with them," Montee said. "And at this point, it's been three months and it's clear that we're not going to work something out without legal action. So we're going to go ahead and take that. I think it's important for this audit to be done."

Metro spokeswoman Diane Williams said she could not comment on the possible litigation.

But last week Williams said handing over certain documents could jeopardize Metro's own lawsuit against the companies hired to design and build the rail line.

Montee also said she wants Governor Matt Blunt's support, because he first ordered the review. She sent the governor a letter this week that outlines her concerns.

Blunt spokesman Ed Martin says the governor supports Montee's efforts.

"Like so many of our institutions that the public has contributed to, the public demands and should expect transparency and a clear sense of what's going on," Martin said.