ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – An FBI audit showing how a former St. Louis County Health Department official spent millions in embezzled funds remains under lock and key in the county executive’s office.
Garry Earls is the Chief Operating Office for County Executive Charlie Dooley. Earls was asked if the report on Ed Mueth, who committed suicide, will be released to the public before the August election.
“I’d like to see it released,” he says. “There’s nothing to hide in it. We’re telling you that we were stolen from, we’re the victims of this theft—and all of it was theft—so we’re not holding anything back,” he says.
Meanwhile, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch says there’s no legal reason for Charlie Dooley’s office to hold the report back.
“Law enforcement can keep a closed record if there’s an active investigation ongoing, but once that goes to another governmental agency that’s not law enforcement, it’s fair game,” McCulloch says.
Even though the FBI wants the county to keep it confidential for now, McCulloch says they waived that right when they gave the report up in the first place.
The FBI told KMOX this week that the audit report remains confidential until the county police department investigation is over. Earls says the Dooley Administration obtained a copy from county police to help them try to recover some of the $3.5 million in taxpayer money embezzled by Ed Mueth.
McCulloch says, while law enforcement agencies can keep reports under wraps, that’s not the case for local governments, like the County.
“There’s absolutely no basis under Missouri law for the Dooley administration to withhold that from the press or the public,” McCulloch says.
McCulloch is supporting Dooley’s challenger, Steve Stenger, in the upcoming election.
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