Calls for Accountability in Health Department Scandal
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX) – Fingers have been pointed and calls for someone to be held accountable for the scandal that rocked the St. Louis County Health Department last year are now coming from the prosecuting attorney’s office.
Bob McCulloch, who pulled his support of County Executive Charlie Dooley in October, has accused the Dooley Administration of mishandling the investigation in to Ed Mueth — even purposely excluding law enforcement from the initial investigation.
Mueth was the number two person in charge of the county health department. His apparent suicide led investigators to a phantom company that billed the county more than $3.4 million dollars over a six year period.
According to documents obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mueth was suppose to meet with the county’s chief operating officer, Garry Earls, the day he took his own life.
“Somebody should have caught it long before that and given it to law enforcement. Law enforcement would go out and pick up the guy,” said McCulloch. “They won’t call him first and say ‘hey you won’t mind coming over and talking about you stealing all this money.’
McCulloch said now investigators can’t question the man at the center of the investigation. “Here is a guy who stole $3.5 million dollars from a county department and not a single individual has been held accountable.”
Charlie Dooley defended his administration’s handling of the fast-moving events Tuesday. He said when they asked Mueth to speak with them they thought the irregularities in the budget was a conflict of interest issue.
He said he won’t take any punitive action against anyone until the investigation is over.
Councilman Calls for County Official’s Resignation
Before Tuesday’s County Council meeting, councilman Steve Stenger called for a top member of the Dooley administration, Garry Earls, to step down.
“Mr. Earls has shown, along with Mr. Dooley, zero accountability and no remorse for continued mismanagement,” he said. “No employees have been disciplined and no employees have been held accountable by Mr. Earls or the County Executive Charlie Dooley.”
Stenger said he believes Earls is ultimately responsible for the oversight in the health department and should lose his job over the debacle.