Saint Louis, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon is directing the state to wade into the St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds Office and its scandal-ridden former head honcho, Sharon Carpenter.
Carpenter resigned earlier this summer after coming under fire for hiring her great-nephew, a violation of Missouri’s anti-nepotism law. Carpenter has remained firm that she committed no wrongdoing and in August she easily won the three-way Democratic primary to re-take the post.
The Recorder of Deeds Office has been mired in controversy since Carpenter’s resignation. Carpenter’s former chief deputy, Peggy Meeker, is now under scrutiny for potentially unethical or illegal involvement in bidding for renovation projects that ultimately benefited Meeker’s son.
And that’s not the end of the questions. St. Louis City Counselor Winston Calvert released bank statements as part of an inquiry just days ago showing that Carpenter spent thousands of dollars on hotel and travel expenses from an account that was dedicated to technology and document preservation.
State Auditor Tom Schweich will be tasked with auditing the department and investigating for any legal or ethical violations. Nixon did not elaborate on the audit in his brief statement to the press.
“Under Section 26.060, the Governor may, when in his judgment the public interest of the state will be served, select an auditor or accountant to audit the accounts of any municipality or county receiving money for or from the state,” Nixon wrote.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.