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The new Secretary of State, John "Jay" Ashcroft, has already found himself in hot water over his appointee to head the division of securities, David Minnick.
Minnick's former employer, is not only under current investigation, but has been fined multiple times for violations by state and federal securities divisions.
From the Post-Dispatch:
Missouri Democrats are asking Gov. Eric Greitens and fellow legislators to help them oust David Minnick, the state's newly minted securities commissioner, after reports came to light that he worked for an investment firm under state investigation.
The Kansas City Star first reported Minnick is now tasked with overseeing the very state agency that has led a probe into his former employer, Stifel Financial Corp., on four separate occasions.
Before being appointed by Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Minnick served as general counsel and senior vice president for the St. Louis-based corporation.
Ashcroft's office has said these concerns are "silly."
During his campaign, Ashcroft billed himself as a proponent for free and fair elections -- this includes providing as much information as possible about the government and current elected officials' work on taxpayer time.
Unfortunately, since the 2017 legislative session started, the Secretary of State has yet to upload either Missouri House or Senate floor debates to The Missouri Channel. This is where citizens can easily access important conversations about policy from that impact everyone in the state.
Progress Missouri called to see if they planned to uphold this aspect of the office's government transparency program, and have yet to receive a response.
We hope they maintain some sense of transparency in the building. Missourians demand it.
“David Minnick grew up outside Chillicothe on a farm and has lived in Missouri most of his life,” Ashcroft said in a statement released Monday. “He loves Missouri, and the citizens of this state need people like David to serve the public in state government. His reputation is excellent. He has integrity and is honest. He has a deep, real-life familiarity of the securities industry that will help the securities division improve how they conduct examinations and investigations.”
Contrary to the criticism, Ashcroft says Minnick’s role as general counsel for a company that has been subject to multiple investigations will help him in his new job. Ashcroft’s press release says the experience gave Minnick “an informed opinion on the division well before he accepted the position.”
Minnick certainly does know the ins and out of a securities investigation.
Rep. Deb Lavender told the KC Star,
“Missourians know a conflict of interest when they see one, and this appointment doesn’t pass the laugh test.”
Rep. Greg Razer added,
“Appointing someone to lead an investigation into their firm of 10-plus years is simply indefensible and needs to be corrected immediately.”
We couldn't agree with the Representatives more.