Confusion about Webb’s future, Hummel issues new statement
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — After the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney’s office charged Rep. Steve Webb, D-Florissant, with one count of felony stealing and seven other counts of campaign finance law violations, Minority Leader Jacob Hummel, D-St. Louis City, issued a statement saying that Webb informed him he intended to resign later today.
“Rep. Webb has told me he intends to resign his House seat later today. Given the seriousness of the charges, we believe that is the appropriate decision for himself, his family and, most importantly, his constituents,” the statement reads.
But Webb told The Missouri Times in no uncertain terms that he was making his own “independent decision,” and had not decided yet to resign. Hummel, in a follow-up conversation, reiterated his story, saying that Webb told him personally he intended to step down.
Webb would not comment on Hummel’s written statement except to say that it was not accurate.
[Update] Hummel released a second statement today. It reads:
“Representative Steve Webb told me Wednesday morning that he intended to resign his House seat by day’s end. Furthermore, Representative Webb explicitly gave me permission to share that information with the press and directed my staff to prepare his resignation letter. Several hours later, he evidently had a change of heart and now has told reporters that he doesn’t plan to step down at this time.” [End Update]
Webb says he had not yet made a decision about resigning. Hummel, however, seems to be encouraging Webb to step down.
Webb’s felony charge stems from an accusation that he solicited $3,000 for the purposes of hosting a reception for Missouri’s Black Legislative Caucus — which he once chaired. Police records accuse Webb of siphoning the donation, from Community Loans of America, into his own bank account for personal use. Other charges, all misdemeanors, claim Webb purposely failed to report certain donations, made cash expenditures in excess of allowable amounts and comingled contributions with personal funds.
[Update] “The decision on whether or when to resign ultimately is Representative Webb’s to make. But for the sake of his family and constituents, I strongly believe that he should follow through with his original intentions,” Hummel’s updated statement reads.
Fellow North County Democrat, Rep. Keith English, said he hoped the charges were not accurate, and that Webb told him personally that he was not guilty and that the evidence would exonerate him.
“I talked to [Rep. Webb] and he told me these charges were not true,” English says. “He told me that he would come out free and clear because he hadn’t done these things. I can only pray that this is some sort of paperwork problem or a clerical error, which does happen. We file a lot of papers and we have to stay on top of things, and I hope that’s what we find out about this situation. I feel sorry for his family for having to go through this, and I can tell you that the politicians and constituents of North County are very close and that we are very saddened to hear about this situation.” [End Update]