SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- (02/16/2018) Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway said that 26 individuals have now come forward with allegations against Greene County, and as this number continues to grow, she believes that the taxpayers deserve answers.

The first accusation of the misuse of public funds was reported to Auditor Galloway back in December after the first whistleblower, who has since been identified as former Greene County employee Trysta Herzog, sent hundreds of documents to the auditor stating that she felt near daily coercion to participate in political activities as part of her job.  

 "There are concerns that public resources were used inappropriately, and as auditor it is my job to make sure taxpayer funds were not abused, that they're not wasted or mismanaged," Auditor Galloway.

Due to these allegations, Galloway has stressed the need for an audit. However, the county has denied her request with Presiding Bob Cirtin previously telling FOX 5 that they believe the current investigation by the Missouri Ethics Commission will eliminate that need.

"The Missouri Ethics Commission is responsible for looking for compliance with campaign finance laws, conflict of interests, lobbying," state Galloway. "We look for corrupting and fraud. Those responsibilities are very different between the different type of investigations that could occur."

However, due to the push-back from the county, Galloway says it's now up to the citizens to decide if they want their leaders to be held accountable.

"Citizens have filed a request for a petition for an audit of Greene County, and it looks like at this time, if there is going to be an audit done the petition is the path forward," said Galloway.

 The petition will need over 6,700 signatures in order for an audit to be forced.

FOX 5 did reach out to Cirtin for comment, and while he was unavailable, Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott did say that they are continuing to provide information to the Ethics Commission. The findings from that investigation will likely be revealed at the end of this month.