The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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March 20, 2014

Petition drive seeks state audit of Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. — A petition drive is underway that, if successful, would force a state audit aimed at investigating issues surrounding the dismissal of former City Manager Mark Rohr.

Petitions are being circulated by a group including Kim Seavy, who has criticized Joplin City Council actions in recent meetings.

“We just got the petition forms from the auditor’s office today and I’ve already got half a dozen signatures. We’ll be circulating them at Third Thursday, tonight.” he said

Spence Jackson, spokesman for state auditor Tom Schewich, confirmed the office “had received inquiries form several people in  Joplin interested in a petition audit.

“We have advised them about the process,” he said.

Seavy said he wants the state audit to “air out” actions by the council surrounding Rorh’s firing and payments to a private investigator hired to look into potential council ethics violations.

 To trigger a state audit in a city the size of Joplin,  signatures equivalent to 10 percent of city residents who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election. Seavy said the auditor’s office has told the group they must collect 1,776 signatures of registered voters inside the city

 If the petition drive is successful, the state audit would begin “as soon as staff members are available,” according to the state’s web site.

Costs of the audit would be billed to the city, based on the hours the worked by audit staff, and their expenses.

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