New Mo. House panel to probe agriculture agency

Nov 5, 2013

A new Missouri House committee will look into allegations of a hostile work environment in the Department of Agriculture.

House Speaker Tim Jones said Tuesday he is "deeply concerned" about the allegations against former Agriculture Director Jon Hagler. He says the new investigatory committee will be led by Rep. Casey Guernsey, a Republican from Bethany.

Gov. Jay Nixon replaced Hagler as department director Oct. 11. That was one day after a high-ranking department employee resigned while distributing a letter alleging Hagler created an atmosphere of intimidation and fear.

Hagler told The Associated Press he was a tough but fair manager and denied using intimidation. He said the timing of the letter and his departure were a coincidence.

A Nixon spokesman says the governor tries to foster a workforce with a professional demeanor.