SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- (2/1/2018) The state auditor's office has now released documents to Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott identifying a former county employee as the first whistleblower who filed a complaint against county commissioners.
Back in November, former Greene County Spokesperson, Trysta Herzog, was the first of almost two dozen whistleblowers to file a complaint with Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway. She alleged that commissioners misused tax payer funds to advocate for their half-cent tax increase.
In the documents released to FOX 5, there are numerous e-mails and messages between Herzog and Presiding Commissioner Bob Cirtin in which Herzog states she felt nearly daily coercion to participate in political activities as part of her job.
In numerous emails, Herzog writes that she will not take part in any action she believes as advocating for the tax increase. However, in notes given to HR, Herzog claims Cirtin said she cannot refuse work assigned to her, that she owes him her position and that he has ousted directors before and he can do it again.
Herzog mentions that others in the county such as Commissioners Hough and Bengsch also warned Cirtin that his actions were risky.
However, Sheriff Arnott, who originally requested the documents due to alleged whistleblower complaints against him and his department, tweeted out Thursday night saying that the documents do not appear to include concerns with the sheriff's office or himself.
FOX 5 did contact Commissioner Cirtin for comment, however, he was unable to be reached.
Herzog's identity as a whistleblower is protected under Missouri law. However, she waived that right and gave Auditor Galloway permission to release documents that would reveal her name. As of now, the other whistleblowers still remain anonymous.