ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway announced she is accepting the request from the St. Louis County Council to audit county government, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, and other development agencies with jurisdiction in St. Louis County. Last week, the council unanimously approved a resolution for the independent review.
Auditor Galloway said the Public Corruption and Fraud Division of her office would ensure a full accounting of taxpayer dollars after former County Executive Steve Stenger pleaded guilty last month to three federal counts in a pay-to-play scheme. That will include working with law enforcement, meeting extensively with county officials and taking public input during the audit, which will focus on county practices related to contracting and procurement.
“The information that has come to light about the actions of Steve Stenger and his administration is deeply troubling, and there must be no tolerance for public corruption,” Auditor Galloway said. “This audit will be an independent review of what took place within St. Louis County government. We will make recommendations to improve internal processes to ensure these types of abuses cannot happen again.”
During a news conference today in St. Louis County, Auditor Galloway recognized County Executive Sam Page for his leadership to ensure quick action in requesting the audit. She also commended the members of the County Council for immediately bringing the resolution to a vote and then passing it unanimously. The resolution was necessary before the State Auditor could conduct the audit.
“The abuses that have been uncovered in St. Louis County have defrauded citizens of their hard-earned dollars and deeply eroded the public trust,” Auditor Galloway said. “This audit will provide a road map to allow officials in the county to begin to regain that trust. I want taxpayers to know I will be tough, fair and thorough — and I will get them the answers they deserve.”
In addition to the information the Auditor’s Office will obtain through meetings with county officials and law enforcement, citizens can provide input for consideration by contacting the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-347-8597. Concerns may also be submitted anonymously online at auditor.mo.gov/hotline.
Initial audit work will begin in June. Once staff have had the opportunity to complete this review, a more detailed timeline for completion will be available.