Special prosecutor asks for the removal of St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas for violating county charter

A St. Charles County special prosecutor on Saturday asked the St. Louis County courts to remove Councilman Ernie Trakas from his position, deeming that he violated the county charter by working for three area school districts.

According to Tim Lohmar, a St. Charles County prosecutor, Trakas violated the charter by providing contracted legal work for Sikeston, Cape Girardeau, and Jefferson City.

Lohmar was assigned to the case in February by St. Louis County Circuit Judge Douglas Beach to determine if Trakas violated the charter.

The county charter bars any councilman from holding state or local governmental employment. If the courts agree with Lohmar’s findings, Trakas would have to vacate his position on the County Council.

Tim Lohmar

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch raised concern over the issue following a KMOV report that stated that Trakas was under contract for legal work for school districts in Jefferson City, Cape Girardeau and Sikeston.

McCulloch filed a motion in December that asked for the appointment of a special prosecutor which resulted in Lohmar being assigned.

McCulloch said he would not investigate the issue because it could be seen as a conflict of interest because Trakas was one of the six votes in November that voted to reduce McCulloch’s previously agreed upon retirement plan.

In an interview with Call Newspapers, Trakas said he blames St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger for orchestrating the investigation by bringing up Trakas’ conflict of interest case.

If removed from office, the power struggle within the St. Louis County Council may shift. Although Republican, Trakas often votes with Democrat Councilman Sam Page who usually disagrees with County Executive Steve Stenger’s initiatives for the county.

Councilman Ernie Trakas was not available for comment at press time.

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