Nixon appoints senior adviser as temporary Missouri auditor

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Tom Schweich.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Democratic Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed one of his senior advisers to temporarily serve as state auditor following the death of Republican Auditor Tom Schweich.

Nixon announced on Friday that John Watson will serve as auditor until a permanent replacement is named.

Schweich fatally shot himself Thursday at his suburban St. Louis home in what police describe as an “apparent suicide.”

Nixon says he asked Watson to serve in that role to ensure work in the auditor’s office continues.

The office was open for business Friday and released an annual report bearing Schweich’s name about property seizures by law enforcement agencies.

Auditor’s spokesman Spence Jackson said the office also plans to go ahead with a scheduled release of an audit about the Joplin School District next week.