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PSC's Simmons to take over troubled Economic Development Department

December 11, 2003
By: Aidian Holder
State Capital Bureau

The state Department of Economic Development will have a new chief, after Director Joe Driskill announced his resignation amidst questions about his oversight of a state tax credit program wracked by fraud allegations. Aidian (uh-dee-an) Holder has the details on the new director.

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OutCue: SOC

Governor Holden named Public Service Commissioner Kelvin Simmons as the new head of the department one day after Joe Driskill announced he'll resign the post.

Driskill is leaving the department amid investigations into how a state tax credit program was defrauded of 2 million dollars.

Holden says the change isn't connected to the tax credit fraud, saying Driskill had wanted to leave for some time, but Simmons promises he'll bring more oversight and accountability to state tax credit programs.

Actuality:Simmons
RunTime: 10
OutCue:
Contents: Simmons says he'll make any changes needed to prevent fraud.

Simmons resigned as Chairman of the Public Service Commission in November. His appointment must be confirmed by the state Senate when they reconvene in January.

From the state Capitol, I'm Aidian Holder

Missouri's Department of Economic Development is getting a new director. Public Service Commissioner Kelvin Simmons was appointed to the job a day after long time director Joe Driskill announced his resignation amid question about his oversight of a tax credit program. Aidian Holder has more.

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Kelvin Simmons says he wants to get down to work helping Missouri's economy.

Actuality:Simsjob
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OutCue:
Contents: I have three priorities for my new position: jobs, jobs, jobs.

But first he's going to have to overhaul the state's tax credit programs, as investigations continue into how the state's Rebuilding Communities tax credit program was defrauded out of two million dollars by sham business with phony records.

Simmons is promising to bring better oversight to the dozens of tax credit programs administered by the department.

Actuality:Simmons
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OutCue:
Contents:

Simmons appointment must be approved by the state senate.

From the state Capitol, I'm Aidian Holder.