STL County Council member under investigation regarding possible charter violation

A special prosecutor has been assigned to investigate whether St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas violated the county’s charter by working as an attorney for public school districts.

On Wednesday, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Douglas Beach assigned St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar to investigate the issue.

Lohmar

The county charter bars any councilman from holding state or local governmental employment. If Lohmar finds that Trakas violated the county charter, Trakas would have to vacate his position on the County Council.

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.

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