State auditor faults SEMA for paying for Nixon flights

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 | 7:25 a.m. CDT; updated 9:22 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 30, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — A new audit takes issue with the way Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has billed aircraft flights to the State Emergency Management Agency.

State Auditor Tom Schweich said SEMA paid about $55,000 during the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years for Nixon to fly to disaster sites and promote recovery efforts. The audit says there is no record of SEMA personnel accompanying Nixon on any of the flights, although officials from the Department of Public Safety did sometimes fly with the governor.

The Missouri budget allows Nixon to bill the cost of flights to the Department of Public Safety, which includes the State Emergency Management Agency.

Schweichs' audit recommends that SEMA stop paying for Nixon's flight costs.

The agency gave no indication in a written response that it would halt the practice.

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