Tom Schweich

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Tom Schweich
36th Auditor of Missouri
In office
January 10, 2011 – February 26, 2015
GovernorJay Nixon
Preceded bySusan Montee
Succeeded byJohn Watson (Acting)
Nicole Galloway
Personal details
Born(1960-10-02)October 2, 1960
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
DiedFebruary 26, 2015(2015-02-26) (aged 54)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Kathleen Schweich
Alma materYale University
Harvard University

Thomas A. Schweich (October 2, 1960 – February 26, 2015) was an American politician, diplomat, attorney, and author. A member of the Republican Party, Schweich served as State Auditor of Missouri.

Prior to being elected State Auditor, he served as the U.S. Coordinator for Counternarcotics and Justice Reform in Afghanistan.[1] While in that position, he was given the rank of Ambassador by U.S. President George W. Bush.[2]

In the 2010 election, Schweich was elected State Auditor, defeating Democratic incumbent Susan Montee.[3] He was reelected in 2014 without opposition. In 2015, Schweich announced he would run for Governor of Missouri in the 2016 election. On February 26, 2015, he died as a result of injuries sustained from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Education and legal career[edit]

Schweich was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Brigitte and Julius Schweich.[4][5] He was a fifth generation Missourian and a graduate of Missouri's public school system.[6] Schweich was not Jewish but believed that there was an anti-Semitic whispering campaign preceding his death which suggested that he was Jewish.[7] One investigative reporter has been unable to determine the authenticity of the claims, and whether or not they were being used for political gain.[8] His paternal grandfather was Jewish.[7] Schweich attended an Episcopal church.[9][10] Schweich received his undergraduate degree from Yale University, and he obtained his law degree from Harvard Law School.[11] After law school he joined the oldest law firm in Missouri, Bryan Cave.[11] As a partner at Bryan Cave, Schweich specialized in corporate compliance, helping to manage internal audits and investigations for large companies.[2]

Public service career[edit]

Danforth Special Counsel Investigation into Waco Siege[edit]

Schweich began his public service career in 1999, when he was named Chief of Staff for former U.S. Senator John Danforth's investigation of the federal government's actions in connection with the 1993 FBI siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas; a siege which resulted in the deaths of over 80 people, including 23 children.[11] The investigation concluded that the Davidians died as a result of a suicide pact, but it also uncovered numerous instances of negligent conduct in the way that the federal government conducted the siege.[12]

United Nations[edit]

John Danforth appointed Schweich to be his chief of staff when he was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.[2] Schweich also served as chief of staff to the next two ambassadors to the United Nations, Anne W. Patterson and John R. Bolton.[1] During his time serving the United Nations delegation, he helped the delegation uncover the Oil for Food Scandal, a scheme by Saddam Hussein to circumvent United Nations sanctions using bribery and kickbacks to U .N. and other officials.[6]

Bush administration[edit]

In 2005, Schweich became the second-highest ranking and then highest-ranking international law enforcement official in the U.S. State Department as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Acting Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.[6] He directed four thousand people located in dozens of countries with a budget of more than 2.5 billion dollars.[1] He was subsequently appointed Coordinator for Counternarcotics and Justice Reform in Afghanistan and was accorded the rank of Ambassador by President George W. Bush.[6]

Missouri Auditor[edit]

In 2010, Schweich sought and won the Republican nomination for Missouri State Auditor, defeating Missouri State Representative Allen Icet with 58.6% of the vote.[13]

In the general election, he faced incumbent and Democratic nominee Susan Montee.[13] Schweich defeated Montee on November 2, 2010, with a 51% to 45% margin of victory.[3]

Schweich made history in the 2014 election when the Democratic party failed to field a candidate against him.[14] The race marks the first time in 144 years that a Republican has run for a Missouri statewide office without any Democratic opposition.[15] Democrats attributed Schweich's implementation of an anti-embezzlement program, rapid response team, and grading system, strong fundraising numbers, and broad bipartisan support of his audits as reasons why he did not draw Democratic opposition for re-election.[14] In the general election, he was re-elected with 73% of the vote to Libertarian Sean O'Toole's 20% and Constitution nominee Rodney Farthing's 7%.

2016 campaign for governor[edit]

On January 28, 2015, Schweich announced he would run for Governor of Missouri, setting the stage for a Republican primary with former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway.[16][17]

Writing career and personal interests[edit]

In addition to his public service career, Schweich was an avid numismatist and a collector of movie memorabilia.[18]

He wrote three books and numerous articles on topics including business law, numismatic history and international relations. Accolades for his work include three literary awards from the American Numismatic Association.[citation needed] He wrote his first book, Protect Yourself From Business Lawsuits (…and Lawyers Like Me) (Simon & Schuster), in 1998, and it became the best selling business law book on[11] He wrote his second book, Crashproof Your Life: A Comprehensive Three-Part Plan for Avoiding Financial Disasters (McGraw-Hill), in 2002.[6] He wrote his third book, Staying Power (McGraw-Hill), in 2003. In addition, he recorded an audio series on personal finance entitled "Protect Your Wealth," which was released in 2004.[citation needed]

Before becoming state auditor, Schweich was a member of the Washington University faculty, where he taught law and foreign policy.[2]

Death and aftermath[edit]

On February 26, 2015, Schweich was taken from his home to a St. Louis hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound, later ruled to be self-inflicted. His office soon confirmed that he had died.[19] Governor Jay Nixon decreed that flags would be flown at half-staff in his memory.[10]

In early March 2015, an aide to former U.S. Senator Danforth, Martha Fitz, told a reporter with the Kansas City Star that she had spoken with Schweich by phone only minutes before the auditor's suicide, and that he expressed to her frustration and outrage over what he described as a "whisper campaign" by some Republicans to spread false information about him and damage his gubernatorial campaign.[20][21] Fitz was talking with Schweich's wife, who had initiated the call, when the fatal shot was fired.[21]

Prominent state figures have openly cast blame on the Republicans, particularly their hard-charging campaign manager, Jeff Roe, for willfully growing a "toxic campaign culture".[20] The ad that aired early in the campaign mocked Schweich for his physical appearance and called him a "little bug".[20]

During Schweich's eulogy at a memorial service on March 3, 2015, former U.S. Senator John Danforth said that words used by others to describe Schweich constituted "bullying" and contributed to his death.[22] "Politics", he lamented, "has gone so hideously wrong."[20]

The Clayton Police Department conducted an investigation into Schweich's death by conducting interviews and searching through his electronic devices to examine his texts, emails, and voice mails. They found no evidence of the alleged whisper campaign and found no evidence that Schweich was the target of bullying, threats, or blackmail.[8]

On March 29, 2015, Robert "Spence" Jackson, 44, the spokesman for the Missouri State Auditor's office since October 2011, was found dead at his home in Jefferson City of a gunshot wound, an apparent suicide. Jackson's note read only "I'm so sorry. I just can't take being unemployed again".[23] Police spokesman Doug Shoemaker said investigators wouldn't speculate concerning any connection to Schweich's death "or really entertain questions that might link Mr. Jackson to any type of political issue, whether it's perceived or real".[24][25]

Following Schweich's death, Governor Jay Nixon appointed John Watson as Acting State Auditor, and subsequently appointed Boone County Treasurer Nicole Galloway to serve as State Auditor until the 2018 election.[26]

Electoral history[edit]

2010 Race for State Auditor of Missouri[27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Tom Schweich 974,517 50.8% +7.5
Democratic Susan Montee (incumbent) 871,867 45.5% -7.4
Libertarian Charles W. Baum 70,816 3.7% +0.9
2014 race for State Auditor of Missouri[28]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Tom Schweich 937,961 73.3% +22.5
Libertarian Sean O'Toole 252,351 19.7% +16.0
Constitution Rodney Farthing 89,080 7.0% +7.0


  1. ^ a b c "Tom Schweich". Mitt Romney - Free and Strong America PAC. Archived from the original on December 11, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Lee Enterprises. "GOP race for state auditor still up for grabs". Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Official Election Returns State of Missouri General Election - November 2, 2010 General Election". Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  4. ^ Delach Leonard, Mary (November 3, 2010). "Schweich relieved and excited after winning state auditor's race". St. Louis Beacon. Archived from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  5. ^ Lee Enterprises. "In wake of Schweich's death, politics pushed aside by grief".
  6. ^ a b c d e "About". Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Lempel, Jesse (March 30, 2015). "Jewish Navy SEAL Vet Jumps into Missouri Governor's Race". The Jewish Daily Forward. "John Hancock refuses to step down as some Missouri GOP lawmakers call for him to quit". Retrieved March 31, 2015. The chairman of the Missouri Republican Party mounted his most aggressive defense of his reputation yet on Thursday after weeks of swirling accusations by Jack Danforth he engaged in an anti-Semitic whispering campaign against Tom Schweich — the state auditor and Republican candidate for governor who took his own life last month.
  8. ^ a b "Clayton Police: No Evidence Schweich Target of Whisper Campaign". CBS St. Louis. March 23, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  9. ^ "Police Call Death of Missouri Auditor an 'Apparent Suicide'". ABC News. February 26, 2015. Archived from the original on February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2015. Schweich had Jewish ancestry but attended an Episcopal church.
  10. ^ a b "Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich dead, reportedly from self-inflicted gunshot". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved February 26, 2015. Schweich told a Post-Dispatch editor that he was Episcopalian with a Jewish grandfather and suspected references were made to his Jewish heritage to damage his standing with Republicans in the primary for governor.
  11. ^ a b c d "Tom Schweich". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  12. ^ "Danforth Report" (PDF). Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Lee Enterprises. "CPA issue surfaces in race for auditor". Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Jonathan Shorman, News-Leader (April 20, 2014). "Democratic candidates tough to find in Missouri". Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  15. ^ "With no 2014 opponent, Schweich turns to grow 2016 war chest". PoliticMo. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  16. ^ "Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich to run for governor, setting up Republican primary in 2016". Daily Journal. January 28, 2015. Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  17. ^ McDermott, Kevin (January 28, 2015) - "It's Official: Schweich to Fight Hanaway for 2016 GOP Governor Nomination". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  18. ^ "Thomas Schweich Q&A Part 3: Personal Information". The Missouri Times. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  19. ^ "Missouri Auditor Schweich dies after self-inflicted gunshot wound". Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  20. ^ a b c d Flegenheimer, Matt (February 23, 2016). "Behind Ted Cruz's Campaign Manager, Scorched Earth and Election Victories". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  21. ^ a b Helling, Dave (March 6, 2015). "Danforth aide on the phone with Tom Schweich moments before Missouri auditor's suicide". Kansas City Star. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  22. ^ Helling, Dave; Hancock, Jason; Kraske, Steve (March 4, 2015). "'Words' killed Tom Schweich, former senator says, as friends remember 'intense' public servant". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  23. ^ "Spence Jackson note said he couldn't face unemployment again". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 1, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  24. ^ Lieb, David A. (March 30, 2015). "Police: Missouri auditor's spokesman left note before apparent suicide". MSN. Microsoft. Associated Press. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  25. ^ Corbin, Cristina (March 31, 2015). "Spokesman for Missouri state auditor found dead 1 month after boss killed himself". Fox News. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  26. ^ Nixon picks Boone County treasurer for state auditor job (St, Louis Post-Dispatch article-April 15, 2015)
  27. ^ "Official Election Returns - State of Missouri General Election - November 2, 2010" (PDF). Missouri Secretary of State. November 30, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  28. ^ "All Results - State of Missouri - General Election - November 4, 2014 - Official Results". Missouri Secretary of State. December 3, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2017.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Susan Montee
Auditor of Missouri
Succeeded by
John Watson