Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is coming to the defense of David Minnick, his appointee to head the state’s division of securities.
Minnick has been under fire from Democrats in the legislature because he now heads the office that’s investigating his former employer, Stifel Financial Corps, for “undisclosed allegations.”
Ashcroft, a Republican, released the following written statement:
David Minnick grew up outside Chillicothe on a farm and has lived in Missouri most of his life. He loves Missouri, and the citizens of this state need people like David to serve the public in state government. His reputation is excellent. He has integrity and is honest. He has a deep, real-life familiarity of the securities industry that will help the Securities Division improve how they conduct examinations and investigations.
Commissioner Minnick has been a prosecutor and a lawyer since he earned his law degree from the University of Missouri in 1981. In the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis, and in Lincoln County, he prosecuted murder cases, child sexual assaults, robberies – horrible crimes of humanity – and in every instance David represented the victim. He is returning to his roots, protecting people and holding offenders accountable.
The email containing Ashcroft’s official statement also cited that while working for a number of brokerage firms, Minnick “worked directly with the Securities Division of the Secretary of State’s office – the division he now oversees – giving him an informed opinion on the Division well before he accepted the position.”
Democrats are firing back, calling Minnick’s hire a conflict of interest. A group of Democrats in the Missouri House filed legislation last week that would prohibit the secretary of state from appointing an individual to lead the securities division if that person previously had been employed by a company that has been under state or federal investigation within one year.