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Missouri taxpayers hit with $23 million in legal payouts last year

Lawsuits against the state cost Missouri taxpayers at least $23 million in 2017, according to a report filed by Attorney General Josh Hawley.

As part of an effort to boost transparency, Hawley began reporting a monthly tally of how much the state is paying out in legal expenses to people who have sued the state.

The year-end report shows 16 of the 45 major payouts were related to employment discrimination, with six of those stemming from cases involving Missouri Department of Corrections workers.

In all, the state paid out nearly $8.1 million in claims for employment discrimination and harassment of its employees by supervisors and co-workers in the 12 month period.

The amount reported by Hawley could be much less than the actual total of all legal payouts based on a 2017 report issued by Auditor Nicole Galloway, who found millions of more dollars in legal expenses at agencies that use their own attorneys in lawsuits.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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