JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's top tourism official is out of a job, days after a complaint accused him of excessive taxpayer-funded travel and improper acceptance of gifts from a state vendor.
The Missouri Division of Tourism announced Director Ward Franz's departure Friday but didn't say if he was fired or resigned.
An Oct. 25 letter from an investigator in Democratic state Auditor Nicole Galloway's office outlined allegations from a whistleblower complaint. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch obtained the letter through an open-records request.
The whistleblower alleged that in addition to travel expense concerns, Franz accepted baseball tickets "valued at over $1,000" for games at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park.
Franz does not have a listed phone number. He formerly served as chief of staff to Republican Gov. Mike Parson when Parson was lieutenant governor.