Gibbons suggests special prosecutor for investigating Sunshine Law violations
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Gibbons suggests special prosecutor for investigating Sunshine Law violations

Date: November 7, 2007
By: Lucie Wolken
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - The leading Republican candidate for state attorney general has suggested an independent investigator be appointed to examine complaints against the Republican governor's office for destruction of email records.

The suggestion came from Sen. Mike Gibbons, R-St. Louis County, in an interview with the Columbia Tribune in which he discussed enforcement of the Sunshine Law, following the firing of Scott Kesley, former attorney to the governor.   

Farrah Fit, director of majority caucus communications confirmed the statements. 

The comments by the St. Louis County senator come less than a month after Gov. Matt Blunt endorsed Gibbons as his candidate for attorney general. 

In the interview, a Tribune bog quotes Gibbons: "When this type of instance comes up, probably the best thing to do would be to avail yourself to bringing in a special assistant attorney general to come in, because I think you've probably got a conflict at that point since you helped make people know what the rules are.  Have them come in and investigate and see if there's a problem or not.  And if there is, then have them pursue it."

Attorney General Jay Nixon's office has not launched an investigation into the controversy surrounding the retention and deletion of office e-mails.

Jessica Robinson, spokeswoman to the governor, said that Blunt has not issued statements regarding the comments by his President Pro Temp. 

Paul Silica refused to comment on the possible clash between the two Republican candidates for office.

Jack Cadette, Missouri Democratic Party spokesman said that the central issue surrounding Gibbon's comments is non-partisan.

"The fact that the republican leader of the senate would suggest that there needs to be a special prosecutor or special attorney general look into this is a big statement by them," Cadette said.  "There are people on both sides of the aisle that are extremely concerned about what's going on in the governor's office right now.  People, rightfully so, take the destruction of public documents extremely seriously."

Nixon's office also refused comment on the Gibbon's interview.

Gibbons was unavailable for comment Wednesday.