Criminal Investigation Into Valley Park Mayor’s Use of City Credit Card
VALLEY PARK (KMOX) – St. Louis County police paid a visit to City Hall this week, requesting documents relating to Mayor Nathan Grellner’s use of the city’s credit card.
Their investigation comes amid reports by KMOX of Grellner’s use of public funds for a washer and dryer for his home. Receipts also show he used the card at restaurants and a strip club at times when he was supposed to be attending board meetings.
Grellner skipped six months of board meetings before returning to work on Monday. He said the purchases were “made in error” because he could not “differentiate between my personal credit card and the City Credit Card.”
He paid back the controversial charges and returned the appliances, although alderwoman Rita Collins believes the timing of the Mayor’s atonement is problematic.
She said: “The only time he admits anything is when he gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar!”
Earlier in the week, Collins likened Grellner to actor Charlie Sheen.
A county police department official confirmed the Intelligence Unit is involved with the investigation. Officers were at Valley Park City Hall on Tuesday to request evidence.
Some unanswered questions — If Grellner accidentally used the city’s credit card instead of his own, then why did his family reportedly return some of the items in question instead of reimbursing the city if he could’ve afforded the purchases on his own card? And did Grellner also mistakenly charge city expenses to his personal accounts?
Alderman A.J. Levinson, in reaction to the news of a police investigation, said that each new development seems to make the situation worse and worse.
“The problem is that we’re now uncovering a pattern of bad behavior,” he said. “It’s not an isolated incident.”
Levinson acknowledged his own arrest for drunken driving, but said he quickly apologized and moved on. Grellner was arrested for drunken driving in June and apologized for that, but was defiant on the matters of his absences and credit card charges.
“I had hoped that he would’ve come in with some remorse and humility,” Levinson said. “Unfortunately I didn’t see that.”
Valley Park aldermen voted last month to conduct a forensic audit into Grellner’s handling of public funds. Levinson said a firm should be chosen and the inquiry should begin by the end of the month.
“The next step could possibly be impeachment,” Collins said. Last month, the board took a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the Mayor.