The Missouri Sheriffs’ Association has issued a blistering response to the recently released report by State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s Office regarding the oversight and control of the sex offender registry program. Kevin Merritt, Executive Director, says the report incorrectly places law enforcement in a negative light. Merritt also says the auditor’s office failed to pursue any input from law enforcement while claiming that the sheriff’s association declined to provide a response to the issues raised in the report – an assertion that Merritt claims is a flat-out lie by the state auditor’s office. The Sheriffs’ Association says the figures of unaccounted sex offenders in the report are not accurate because a number of them are either currently incarcerated and accounted for, or have passed away, or in the process of criminal prosecution. Miller County Sheriff Louie Gregoire says he also isn’t sure the data in the report is accurate.
The statement released by the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association also went on to say the state auditor’s rush to release the information to the media, without first giving the association a chance to reply, undermines the criminal investigation process and shows a disregard for reporting in an open and transparent manner. The full response from the Sheriffs’ Association in located below.