CLAYTON (KMOX) — The St. Louis County Executive is getting some push back on the idea the county auditor should be fired.
Steve Stenger made the suggestion after claiming Mark Tucker has a roughly $91,000 federal tax lien, hasn’t filed an audit yet during his six months in office and didn’t have the required qualifications coming in to begin with. Stenger, who said Tucker is “derelict in his personal and professional obligations,” believes Council Chair Sam Page failed in vetting Tucker.
“In the past, the position of county auditor was filled by someone with at least five years accounting experience, as is required by the county charter which is the law of the land with respect to this issue,” Stenger said. “Tucker, however, has no accounting experience whatsoever. Furthermore the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney is investigating whether Tucker meets the requirements for the county charter to hold the position.”
Some County Council members bristled at the notion — including Page, who frequently argues with Stenger.
“I am disappointed to see such unprecedented, deep personal attacks launched on our county auditor by County Executive Stenger. This is not good government,” Page said in an open session as he sat next to Stenger.
“Unfortunately, several years ago, the county auditor went through a divorce and liquidated his 401k retirement fund to take care of his family. That comes with tax consequences,” said Page.
Tucker has been making payments to the IRS for six years and is current, and Page says this doesn’t preclude him from working for the state Senate as he did, or St. Louis County as he does now. Page says no audits have been requested in six months. Plus, he wants Stenger to release the hold that’s prevented additional audit staff from being hired.
District 1 Councilwoman Hazel Erby told Stenger she was “appalled” that Tucker’s personal business was being discussed. District 5 Councilman Pat Dolan said Stenger’s concerns are worth another look.