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St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Resigns Amid Allegations of Nepotism

Kevin Killeen, KMOX News
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Sharon Carpenter (KMOX file photo)

Sharon Carpenter (KMOX file photo)

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ST. LOUIS Mo. (KMOX) —  Sharon Carpenter, who has been the Recorder of Deeds since the 1980s, is accused of spending $100,000 in taxpayer money to hire the son of her chief deputy to do office renovations, and spending another $12,000 to hire her great nephew during the summers from 2010 to 2012. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office confirms Sharon Carpenter has agreed to step down Monday and St. Louis City Police are investigating the allegations.

In a written response, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says:

“This afternoon, I received a letter of resignation from Recorder of Deeds Sharon Q. Carpenter.  The office will be vacant on Monday morning. Under state law, I will appoint the person who will fill the remainder of the term, which ends December 31, 2014.  Until I do, and consistent with the general rule of law, Peggy Meeker, the chief deputy, will manage the office. I have known Sharon Carpenter most of my life. For more than three decades, and in many ways, Sharon has tried to put the interests of the City first.  Her decision today clearly reflects that intention.”

City Prosecutor Jennifer Joyce also issued a statement:

“The Circuit Attorney’s Office has received a letter indicating that Ms. Sharon Quigley Carpenter intends to resign from office, effective Monday morning.  The specific allegation of nepotism provides no legal basis for criminal prosecution. Ms. Carpenter admitted to violating a provision of the Missouri Constitution. The sole remedy for a violation of that provision is removal from office during the term when the specific conduct occurred.  The investigation into the allegations remains open, until such time as her resignation becomes effective.”

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