Federal audit cites potential conflict over Missouri grant

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A U.S. Department of Justice audit has identified a potential conflict of interest over a close to $2.7 million grant awarded by the Missouri Public Safety Department for crime victim services.

The grant went to the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. The audit cited concern because a Public Safety Department official who previously served on the association’s board played a role in the agency’s decision to award the grant. The department awarded the grant despite reviewers’ recommendations against it.

Stephen Sokoloff was then deputy public safety director and now works for the prosecutors. Sokoloff says he wasn’t on the association’s board at the time the grant was awarded, although he did previously serve on the board.

Association of Prosecuting Attorneys President Amy Fite said Wednesday that there was no conflict.