Nixon Refuses to Answer Subpoena

Posted: June 28, 2013 in Legislative Issues, Meetings, Privacy Rights, REAL ID

In the ongoing saga of the law breaking Dept of Revenue under Jay Nixon’s administration, the governor had evidently decided that there are more pressing things to do than answer questions from the committee investigating the issue. Who needs accountability in government anyway, right?

Judge denies legislative subpoenas of Nixon administration

June 27, 2013 – Executive Branch

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Cole County judge has blocked a legislative committee seeking to subpoena officials in Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration over the Department of Revenue document scanning controversy.

“You’re ordered to refrain from all actions in the premises until further notice,” Judge Daniel Green wrote, stopping the Bipartisan Committee on Privacy Protection from subpoenas of Nixon administration officials.

The announcement came at the same time House Speaker Tim Jones was speaking to reporters about the committee’s actions to compel members of Nixon’s inner-circle to speak about the document controversy, as well as the broader issue of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.

Nixon’s administration argued to the court that because committee is made up of citizens, as well as lawmakers, they felt that the committee was out of line issuing subpoenas. Jones, in an email to PoliticMo Thursday afternoon, said it was him as Speaker who issued the subpoenas, which he believes he is lawfully allowed to do.

“The Committee requested that the Speaker issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses. This is an absolute power and right of any Speaker, at any time, on any issue,” Jones said. “Governor Nixon does not get to play King.”

During an interview in Columbia on Wednesday, just hours after lawmakers in Jefferson City wrapped up their first day of interim committee hearings concerning the issue, Nixon said he had “no idea” what lawmakers were talking about when asked about Jones’s charge of obstruction.

“They’re busy raising taxes, we’ve got to keep the fiscal conservatism moving forward,” he said, criticizing legislation he vetoed that would have included a $200 million tax increase on prescription drugs and increaed fees for driver licences. “They ought to focus on their duty of being fiscally responsible rather than this sort of stuff.”

The court called on Jones and his team to respond to their order or pledged to rule in favor of Nixon.

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