St. Louis is a municipal corporation and as such is considered an artificial person. As an artificial person, the City of St. Louis takes on the character of its leadership and that leadership has developed habits that cultivated a culture of corruption. The current mayor has been in office for more than thirteen years. Media reports from the past two years offer a sampling of St. Louis City corruption:
- October 16, 2014, Police arrested a St. Louis city tow lot shift foreman for thefts from lot
- July 11, 2014, the recorder of deeds resigned because of violations of state nepotism laws and allegedly misspent $130,000 between 2010 and 2014. However, after being re-elected after her resignation, she is now collecting both a salary and retirement from the city.
- June 26, 2014, the mayor openly conspired with a municipal judge and the recorder of deeds to violate the state’s constitution to challenge same-sex restrictions on marriage. The mayor held press conferences and published information online announcing his abusive and illegal use of authority*.
- May 15, 2014, James Wahl, a St. Louis Municipal judge was profiled as a flagrant violator of the laws he sits in judgment, on Inside Edition, a national television show.
April 10, 2014, St. Louis City Police officers allegedly use excessive force on Cortez Bufford. This incident occurred four months before the killing of Michael Brown. According to the Independent, The release of the video was originally delayed by St Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
Dash Cam Beating: Police Officer Turned Off Camera
- March 21, 2014, Jury awards $7.5 million to ex-St. Louis officer who claimed harassment, retaliation.
- October 16, 2013, five parking attendants, employed by the St. Louis Treasurer were accused of stealing over $500 each in city parking revenue.
- September 17, 2013, a “ghost employee” of the St. Louis Treasurer was convicted of stealing.
- September 9, 2013, The chief park ranger and assistant forestry directory admitted stealing almost a half-million dollars.
- February 22, 2013, a former building inspector was sentenced to jail for accepting bribes.
- January 23, 2013, a St.Louis Municipal Judge’ working hours were reduced by two-thirds after her husband announced his candidacy against Mayor Slay.
- December 13, 2012, two people connected with a city vendor were sentenced for stealing close to a quarter of a million dollars from St. Louis parking meter operations
- July 19, 2012, a municipal court clerk was sentenced for forging judicial orders.
- April 25, 2012, a former municipal court clerk was convicted of altering court records.
- March 15, 2012, the municipal court administrator hired her brother to perform financial services but did not lose her job because of nepotism violations.
- March 12, 2012, municipal judge James Wahl, along with the municipal court administrator, chief park ranger, and the city counselor’s office participated in the questionable handling of a traffic ticket issued to the mayor’s son.
- February 25, 2012, a St. Louis municipal judge resigned while being investigated by the Missouri Supreme Court’s Commission on Retirement, Removal, and Discipline.
These a just the ones that I know about, I'm sure there are others. If you know of documented examples not appearing on this list, please submit them to our contact page, please include a link to the article are other documentation.
*Note: I believe everyone no matter their sexual orientation or any other defining characteristic is entitled to the pursuit of happiness including choosing whom to make a life partner and having that relationship legally acknowledge. However, one of the Mayor's duties is upholding and enforcing the law. The Mayor's power comes from the state of Missouri through its constitution and unilaterally deciding which laws to uphold and which ones to break is an abuse of that power and violates the City's employee code of conduct. The Mayor of all people should not have broken the law to make a statement and should have chosen a legal remedy like all other residents are required to do.
St. Louis City Corruption Update
The items of corruption above were listed on October 31, 2014, which was the day this site was first published. On January 28, 2016, we decided to check our news archives and list any other news articles that might indicate additional St. Louis City Corruption. After the April 4, 2017 election, we performed another update. Below are some of the articles we found:
- 4-6-2017: Four St. Louis police officers charged with felonies for allegedly stealing overtime pay
- 2-15-2017: Sex Investigation Targets St. Louis Police Officers
- 1-22-2017: St. Louis police discipline hearings now closed, and alderman objects
- 1-17-2017: St. Louis Cop Searched Woman's Vagina for Drugs in Public — and Found None, Suit Alleges
- 9-1-2016: Former St. Louis prosecutor who helped cover up beating of suspect loses her law license
- 8-27-2016: Two St. Louis officers must pay $600,000 to man for excessive force in arrest
- 7-28-2016: St. Louis ex-prosecutor gets probation for helping cover up police detective's beating of handcuffed man
- 7-27-2016: St. Louis police department violates Missouri's open records law, lawsuit claims
- 7-27-2016: Former St. Louis detective sentenced to more than 4 years for beating handcuffed man
- 7-27-2016: Partner of ex-St. Louis cop charged with murder is given immunity, ordered to testify
- 7-18-2016: St. Louis city settles lawsuit over municipal court fees
- 6-24-2016: Former St. Louis sheriff’s deputy suing for discrimination
- 6-23-2016: Attorney claims city and state withheld evidence in civil case against St. Louis police officer
- 6-6-2016: St. Louis police secret settlements total $4.7 million
- 5-19-2016: Activists complain of four-year delay in charging St. Louis police officer with murder of suspect
- 5-10-2016: St. Louis paramedic awarded $50,000 over retaliation for racial discrimination claim
- 4-6-2016: Former St. Louis health inspector gets probation for taking bribe
- 4-6-2016: Former St. Louis cop to plead guilty to charge related to attack on handcuffed suspect
- 3-17-2016: Stepson of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce arrested for heroin possession Note: According to casenet, case number 1622-CR02027-01, the sentence was suspended and the prosecutor's stepson was given 3 years probation. This would be my guide if a relative of mine is charged with a similar crime.
- 2-25-2016: St. Louis police investigate drug handling in medical examiner's office
- 2-23-2016: St. Louis to pay nearly $800K in racial discrimination lawsuit involving police sergeant
- 1-29-2016: St. Louis police to undergo drug and alcohol testing after shootings, wrecks
- 1-28-2016: St. Louis Police to Install Recording Cameras in Holding Cells After Outcry Over In-Custody Death
- 1-27-2016: St. Louis police officer had cocaine in system during crash, prosecutor says
- 1-26-2016: Former St. Louis prosecutor who admitted helping cover up officer’s assault has law license suspended
- 1-25-2016: St. Louis ex-cop who fatally shot VonDerrit Myers Jr. is charged with unrelated DWI
- 1-19-2016: State audit blasts St. Louis Recorder of Deeds for financial mismanagement
- 12-11-2015: St. Louis alderman alleges ‘bribery’ and ‘corruption’ in stadium vote
- 12-03-2015: St. Louis public defender claims police chief, prosecutor unfairly influence gun crime bail
- 10-30-2015: St. Louis circuit attorney fires prosecutor running to replace her
- 10-29-2015: Officer sues St. Louis police, supervisors, alleging he was sexually harassed
- 10-16-2015: St. Louis City health inspector accused of bribery
- 9-18-2015: Two St. Louis police commanders disciplined over breach of rule on outside pay
- 9-17-2015: St. Louis police discipline central issue as Slay tries to oust civil service commissioner
- 9-9-2015: St. Louis prosecutor to review World Series ticket scandal documents
- 9-8-2015: Two former St. Louis corrections officers arrested on drug and sex charges
- 9-1-2015: St. Louis parking enforcement officer suspended amid investigation
- 6-24-2015: St. Louis police officer charged with gun crimes and dealing heroin
- 6-12-2015: St. Louis recorder pay bonus bill filed by alderman whose wife works in office
- 6-5-2015: St. Louis recorder’s previous city car involved in two accidents
- 6-4-2015: St. Louis assistant prosecutor under investigation
- 5-21-2015: St. Louis recorder of deeds to get new city car, lays off one person
- 5-18-2015: Former St. Louis police HR Director accused of sex crimes
- 5-15-2015: Seven corrections officers fired after allegedly beating inmate in retaliation
- 5-7-2015: Keep St. Louis’ convention bids secret? Bill could bar public access
- 4-23-2015: STL City Justice Center employee admits to smuggling drugs to inmates
- 4-17-2015: St. Louis Parking Ticket Policy Is a Racket, Class-Action Suit Alleges
- 2-5-2015: Employee at St. Louis City Jail caught having sex with inmate
St. Louis Municipal Court
A municipal court report (PDF), published in October 2014 by Better Together, highlights the facts that many municipals courts function more like predatory collection agencies rather than institutions of justice.
During 2013, the St. Louis City Municipal Court generated more than any other area court; over $9 million in fines and fees, however, that number may not include fines for red light camera violations. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is a board member of Better Together which may make some wonder if St. Louis City's data was interpreted or reported more favorably.
According to the 2014 City of St. Louis Annual Financial Report, the City received 10.8 million in fines and forfeitures. See video of the Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on municipal court oversight.
Dr. Cornell West Delivers a great lecture which also discusses, in general, a culture of corruption.
The theme of this lecture is "The New Jim Crow", based upon Michelle Alexander's book about an unjust and corrupt criminal justice system that is a modern-day version of the old "Jim Crow" laws. Click on the history tab to view the interview with Michelle Alexander.