Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott is suing the Missouri state auditor in a dispute over allegations that the county illegally used public money to support a sales tax proposal.

Arnott's attorney, Pat Keck argues in a lawsuit filed Friday that the state's open records laws require Auditor Nicole Galloway to provide the complaints to Arnott. Galloway contends she can't release the documents because she must protect whistleblowers' identities.

The first whistleblower alleged county employees were asked to advocate in favor of a half-cent sales tax, which passed in November. Since then, the auditor's office says 11 more people have come forward with concerns about the county's finances and operations.

The Springfield News-Leader reports Keck said Arnott wants to know what the whistleblowers said and Galloway can simply redact their identities.

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