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After Bell’s chief of staff has vehicle stolen, questions raised about taxpayers footing the bill | News 4 Investigates – St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri 2020-11-20 00:00:00 –

Laddu, Missouri ( leaders have been stolen while driving, but some are concerned about whether taxpayers are submitting bills.

“I honestly didn’t know what happened because the sun was shining and there was a lot of traffic, because it happened so fast,” said Sam Alton.

As Chief of Staff of St. Louis Prosecutor Wesliebel, Alton said he did not expect him to be a victim of the crime.

“Sure, I didn’t think it would happen at that moment,” Alton said.

On Saturday, July 11, Alton left the car on the driveway of Laddu’s house, according to a Laddu police report obtained by News 4. Then someone jumped in and took off.

The SUV was found to have been abandoned five days later in North St. Louis County, a few miles away.

According to Alton, it was totaled.

“At least the back window was blown away, the interior was completely dumped in the trash, and the undercarriage was dumped in the trash,” he said.

Alton said he learned to never keep his car running unattended, but some say it’s not the only concern.

News 4 only learned that Alton’s car had been stolen after receiving an anonymous letter earlier this week. Alton claimed to “fleece taxpayers” by not replacing his car, but instead driving only with county-owned cars.

The vehicle in question was the red Chevrolet Tahoe. Once driven by Prosecutor Bell, Prosecutor Bell later received a new official car.

Alton had previously refused to drive a car funded by taxpayers, but said he plans to drive it indefinitely.

“It definitely makes sense because I don’t have a car, but after working since January 2019, I understand how much we use and how much we use. It makes more sense now because it’s a course of work, so it makes sense to me, “Alton said.

Alton said he would drive to crime scenes and community rallies. He defends the office where he buys and uses take-away cars, even during a pandemic.

“We strive to be there as much as we can as a way of engaging with the community. I understand that feeling, but that is the nature of our work and we That’s what they’re doing, and I think they serve their purpose, “he said.

“I think taxpayers need to be very worried about how their money will be spent,” said Patrick Ishmael of the Show Me Institute. He said the use of Alton’s car may be unacceptable.

“Like a police officer who may need to get in and out of work in a police car, it may be fully understood as the use of public property, but when talking about the chief of staff or elected civil servants. There is certain expectation that people will pay in their own way as professionals, “he said.

Ishmael said Alton had paid $ 130,000 and he had to pay for his ride.

“There is no reason not to replace the other lost vehicle with another one he bought,” he said.

Allowed to drive it everywhere, Alton admits that the car is a perk, but what he says it is allowed.

“If they are assigned to our office, that’s the way we use them,” Alton said.

He says his focus is on catching criminals, as car theft is on the rise.

“This is something that the office takes seriously, not just myself. But when officers handle their proceedings, I will handle them and hopefully find someone who has done it.” Said Alton.

According to budget documents, the public prosecutor’s office spent about $ 85,000 on new cars, which were previously budgeted as part of the regular management of the fleet and had nothing to do with pandemic funding.

The first assistant in front of former prosecutor Bob McCulloch also had a take-away car, but had no official role as Chief of Staff.

After Bell’s chief of staff has vehicle stolen, questions raised about taxpayers footing the bill | News 4 Investigates Source link After Bell’s chief of staff has vehicle stolen, questions raised about taxpayers footing the bill | News 4 Investigates

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