Friday, October 18, 2013

Scandals in County Government

As problems with scandals and improprieties continue to plague the administration of County Executive Charlie Dooley, another nail in the coffin was hammered in place this past Tuesday afternoon when County Councilman Steve Stenger announced his candidacy to run against Dooley in the upcoming Democratic Primary in August of 2014.   

Stenger was introduced by St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, who recently advised Dooley that he would not support him in his run for re-election next year.  Also in attendance in support of Stenger was county council members Mike O’Mara and Pat Dolan, among many other labor and community leaders.  Both O’Mara and Dolan represent labor organizations and are Democrats, as is McCulloch and Dooley, thus indicating dissention in the party ranks with the county’s top incumbent.

Of Stenger’s candidacy, McCulloch said that Stenger will “restore integrity to county government.”  In a recent interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, McCulloch cited a list of incidents which led to his relinquishing support for Dooley, including:

  • The appointment of a county real estate official with a felony conviction for embezzling federal housing funds
  • The hiring of a tax collector delinquent on her own taxes
  • The $3.7 crime lab contract that has ensnared former police board president Gregory Sansone in an FBI investigation
  • The top health department administrator who committed suicide last month after it was discovered he’d operated a fake company that collected $3.4 million from county contracts
And, that’s not all, as there is more in addition to the above list.

McCulloch also told the Post-Dispatch, ““The credibility of St. Louis County government has been destroyed by all of these incidents.  He’s the chief executive officer and that’s the person who bears the responsibility.  He disagrees with that and doesn’t believe he bears any responsibility.”   And, McCulloch further elaborated by stating that, “People are starting to come up to me on the street and ask me what is going on with county government, so it’s beginning to affect everyone who is associated with county government.  There has been so much damage to the credibility of St. Louis County government that can’t be repaired by Charlie.”

Another community leader who came out against Dooley is St. Louis County NAACP official Cedric Clarkson, who said, “This administration has a cloud hanging over it now and that’s the last thing we need.  Charlie Dooley was a good representative and he was a good administrator.  But it’s time for a change.”

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