Former DPS Director Drew Juden Mishandled Taxpayer Dollars, According To New Audit Report
A new report by Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway raises concerns about activities performed under former Department of Public Safety director, Drew Juden.
Juden, also a former director of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, was audited on his stint as state director, which lasted from January 2017 through August 2018.
According to a news release by Galloway’s office, Gov. Mike Parson requested the investigation after an internal review suggested there may have been a misuse of government funds.
Galloway said the audit was “troubling” after it uncovered “deliberate actions” made to try and sidestep government policies.
"Missourians should have confidence their tax dollars are being used appropriately and that contracts are awarded in a way that gets the very best return on their investment,” said Galloway. “No one should think they are above those rules.”
The report alleges the department under Juden altered the installation and management of fingerprint technology - a service originally provided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol without the cost of state money. Rather than contacting the Patrol, Juden awarded a contract to the Missouri Police Chiefs Charitable Foundation for roughly $58,000.
According to the report, the Department of Public Safety sent false information to the Office of Administration about the funding. In June of last year, they paid the foundation $1.25 million for the fingerprint tech vendor, though the equipment wasn’t sent to them until about six months later.
The audit also found that although Juden went on multiple vacations, he didn’t claim any annual leave. He also used his department vehicle 44% more than prior directors.