JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Republican Party is demanding Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Susan Montee release her tax returns.
They have asked to see the tax returns in light of a federal indictment of a license fee office employee in St. Joseph, run by the candidate's ex-husband James Montee. The Missouri GOP said it is curious if Susan Montee benefited financially through the scandal.
According to the United State's attorney's office, western district of Missouri, in October, the former employee was federally indicted for being paid $70-$100 to accept inadequate identification documents and provide licenses to illegal aliens. The complaint alleges the employee and co-conspirators had been working together between July 1, 2010 and Jan. 10 of this year.
According to a different release from the U.S. attorney's office, in a similar scandal five were indicted in September for a $5 million conspiracy where an estimated 3,500 licenses were issued to illegal aliens at the same license office in St. Joseph.
"We would be very interested to see if any of this money ended up making its way somehow into Susan Montee's pocket," said Missouri GOP communications director Jonathon Prouty.
Prouty said Susan Montee is still close with her ex-husband and served as the attorney for him and the St. Joseph fee office in a discrimination lawsuit earlier this year. He said the Missouri GOP wants to see Susan Montee's tax returns going back to at least 2010. Prouty said he did not know if Susan Montee's opponent, incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, has released his tax returns. Kinder’s campaign refused to comment.
Susan Montee’s communications director John Knoll said her statement is the same as it was in 2010 when the same issue was raised. That statement said the fee office bidding process is open and transparent, and as her and James Montee divorced in 2007, they were no longer related when James Montee gained control of the fee office. Also, it said she has issued a public financial disclosure report.
“She laughs at the Republican Party trying to get anyone to release tax returns,” Knoll said.
James Montee contributed nearly $100,000 to democratic candidates before taking control of multiple license fee contracts from Nixon’s administration according to the Missouri GOP press release.
Reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission show James Montee contributed more than $50,000 to Susan Montee's campaign for state auditor during the 2010 election cycle. The two divorced in 2007, and James Montee took control of the St. Joseph fee office in September 2009.
The Missouri GOP's request comes the same week Montee released a campaign ad that criticizes Kinder for using tax payer money to stay in luxury hotels, being a regular at a St. Louis strip club and receiving thousands of dollars from lobbyists every year.
Susan Montee was unavailable for an in-person statement.