Missouri Auditor Spokesman’s Suicide Note Revealed

By John Celock

The suicide note left behind by the spokesman for late Missouri state Auditor Tom Schweich (R) indicates that the suicide stemmed from the likelihood that he would soon be unemployed.

The Jefferson City, Mo. police department read the contents of Spence Jackson’s suicide note at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. Jackson was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the head Monday at his Jefferson City home. Jackson’s suicide follows Schweich’s suicide last month. The police indicated that they were reading the note at the “express wish” of Jackson’s family.

“I’m so sorry,” Jackson wrote. “I just can’t take being unemployed again.”

The police said they would read the note but not provide copies. A police spokesman said that people should not believe everything else circulating around Jackson’s death on social media. The spokesman said that the reading of the note was key to ending speculation surrounding Jackson’s death coming just a month over Schweich’s death.

The police spokesman indicated that Jackson was at work in the auditor’s office on Friday morning. Previous reports had indicated that Jackson was not at work on Friday. He also said that no drugs were discovered in Jackson’s home.

Schweich, a candidate for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2016, committed suicide reportedly due to a whisper campaign in Missouri political circles that he was Jewish. Schweich’s grandfather was Jewish. Schweich had been planning to meet with reporters to discuss the reports hours after his death.

Jackson is a longtime fixture in Missouri politics, having served as spokesman for former Gov. Matt Blunt (R) in the governor’s office and the secretary of state’s office. He had worked for Schweich since 2011.

Gov. Jay Nixon (D) named longtime aide John Watson to serve as the interim state auditor, while he conducts a search for a new auditor to complete Schweich’s term, which expires in 2019. While Schweich was reelected last year, Nixon is under no requirement to appoint a Republican to the auditor’s post. The governor has not said who he will name to succeed Schweich on a long term basis. The new auditor would likely replace Schweich’s executive staff.