Missouri Digital News will be on a break for the last week of 1998. We resume updating our news headlines and archives on January 4.
Have a happy holiday season.
Missouri's attorney general has hit another snag in his efforts to join the national settlement with the tobacco industry.
Two St. Louis area women have filed a motion that smokers -- not just government -- should share in any payments by tobacco companies.
The two seek a class-action intervention in the state's suit on behalf of Missouri smokers.
But the attorney general wants to drop the suit so the state can join in the national settlement.
Jackson County's prosecutor, who becomes state auditor in January, told reporters her office has discovered Missouri does not have a law against bribing a public official who is not paid.
While there are criminal laws against bribing salaried government workers, a loophole in the law going back to at least 1978 excludes unpaid officals like school board members.
A St. Louis circuit judge had turned down the state Attorney General's request drop the state's tobacco industry lawsuit as part of the nationwide settlement.
Instead, Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards said he wanted first to decide on various requests by other parties to intervene in the case.
Edwards' decision guarantees the tobacco settlement will not be resolved before Missouri's legislature begins its session January 6.