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City Hall Can’t Remove Embezzling Subcontractor From Police HQ Job

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Local union electricians are calling on the City of St. Louis to fire the electrical subcontractor working on the new police headquarters on Olive Boulevard but the city says it can’t do it.

Thomas Ruzicka pleaded guilty in 2010 to embezzling more than $100,000 from his employees and has been cited for being late paying state taxes and unemployment contributions and failing to pay a prevailing wage.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has begun a campaign calling on the city to take action against Ruzicka.

Mayor Francis Slay’s Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford says the city tried to debar Ruzicka eight months ago but found it has no legal grounds to do so.

“Our job is to carry out and follow the law and in this case the law doesn’t allow us to do what we might want to do or what makes common sense,” he said.

Rainford says if the city fired Ruzicka, it would face a legal challenge.

“The city councilor advised the Board of Public Service that under the city charter and under state and federal law, we had to accept the bid as it was originally submitted,” he added.

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