Alderman Wessels Filing Suit Against City Treasurer
ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–In the never-a-dull-moment race for city treasurer, Alderman Fred Wessels is filing a lawsuit today accusing incumbent Larry Williams of awarding an “illegal” contract to a campaign contributor.
Wessel’s suit alleges Williams broke the city charter, when he entered into a nearly $1.5 million annual contract with a firm that does collections and upkeep on city parking meters.
“It violated the city charter in that it did not have the comptroller’s signature on it,” Wessels said, “It violated city ordinance by not having a professional review committee vet this contract.”
Wessels also claims the firm had given Williams $3,600 in campaign contributions before the contract was awarded.
“Obviously, when you’re hiring your campaign contributors, it brings into question whether it was done properly and for the right reasons,” Wessels said.
The suit is the latest development in a five-way race for city treasurer that has already seen challengers accusing the incumbent of mismanagement and paying a “ghost” employee. Also, last week there were calls for one of the challengers — city Democratic Central Committee Chairman Brian Wahby — to step down, amid concerns that his post gives him an advantage over other challengers.
Wahby called the flap a “phony controversy” and is refusing to step down.
KMOX is waiting for the suit to be filed later today to get full reaction from city treasurer Larry Williams.