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Cole Co. Judge Quashes Subpoenas Served To Nixon Admin. Officials Over Document Scanning

One day after a Missouri House committee issued subpoenas to several members of Governor Jay Nixon's (D) administration, a Cole County judge has issued a preliminary order blocking the subpoenas.

The subpoenas had been issued by the Republican-dominated House Bipartisan Investigative Committee on Privacy Protection.  The committee has been looking into the Department of Revenue's scanning of documents of driver's license and conceal-carry applicants.  But Judge Daniel Green (R) quashed the subpoenas for the time being, without explanation.  House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka), who authorized the subpoenas, says they're just looking for answers.

"As to why the Department of Revenue is illegally continuing to scanMissourians' private information," Jones said, "and why the Nixon administration allowed the entire conceal-carry database to be released to a federal bureaucrat."

Revenue officials maintain that they are not breaking the law and that scanning and storing documents helps them combat fraud.

State RepresentativeStanley Cox (R, Sedalia)chairs the committee.  He called the Democratic Governor's refusal to honor the subpoenas a delaying tactic.

"Somehow, if you delay this long enough, the time frame in which this rather large committee has to function ends, and you don't get to the truth," Cox said.  "So maybe that’s the goal here."

In its petition to Judge Green, the Nixon Administration argued that the committee is not a legitimate Missouri House committee because its members include non-legislators, and thus does not have the authority to issue subpoenas.  Green did not rule on the legitimacy of the committee.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Copyright 2013 St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a native of Mississippi and proud alumnus of Ole Miss (welcome to the SEC, Mizzou!). He has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off an old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Liberty Belle, and their cat, Honey.