The Assistant County Administrator appeared for her deposition today, but Clay County’s legal counsel learned just before the hearing was to begin that non-attorney staff from the State Auditor’s office would be conducting the questioning. Having non-attorney staff lead questioning during a deposition raised legitimate concerns over whether doing so would violate state law which prohibits non-lawyers from practicing law in Missouri. Taking a deposition is generally something that only an attorney can do except in situations involving a pro se (representing one’s self instead of having an attorney) litigant. In an effort to resolve the question, Clay County’s counsel contacted the Missouri Bar’s ethics counsel seeking guidance, but was unable to speak with anyone from that office before the Auditor’s counsel and staff opted to depart. Once this issue is resolved, the County will work with the Auditor to reschedule the deposition.
As an update on Clay County's involvement with the overall audit, our staff has continued to work with the Auditor in other areas and has produced virtually all information requested by her office, including more than 100,000 pages of documents in 2,500 files. This satisfies nearly all of the Auditor’s requests aside from information that is protected by attorney-client privilege or protected employee medical and personnel records.