Suits over alleged harassment in Missouri prisons spur audit

     JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway says she’s reviewing state legal payments following reports of harassment and employee lawsuits in the Department of Corrections.

     Galloway on Friday announced the audit of the state’s Legal Expense Fund, which is used to make settlement payments.

     The Democrat said reports from The Pitch over sexual harassment and discrimination among prison employees spurred the review. But she says the audit will cover employee lawsuits throughout the state workforce.

     The alternative weekly paper first reported that Missouri between 2012 and 2016 paid more than $7.5 million on settlements and judgments related to those alleging harassment and retaliation.

     A Department of Corrections spokesman has said sexual harassment training is mandatory for employees and supervisors.

     Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson earlier this week called for an investigation.


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