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Missouri auditor slams Conservation agency for payout

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – ┬áMissouri Auditor Nicole Galloway has criticized the Department of Conservation for paying out more than $120,000 to a former director.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports an audit released Thursday said the money and benefits that Robert Ziehmer received for months after he had left the state agency for the private sector appeared unnecessary and costly. It also said the payout was not in the best interest of the agency or taxpayers.

The department says the money Ziehmer received was reimbursement for compensatory time he had earned.

The Post-Dispatch previously reported that the payout may have been meant to head off possible legal action by Ziehmer against the department.

Ziehmer left in 2016 to direct a Bass Pro Shops-connected foundation.