Former St. Louis politician Star Triplett admits misusing campaign funds

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by Associated Press and KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 28 at 8:40 PM

ST. LOUIS -- A former St. Louis alderman has been fined $100,000 by the Missouri Ethics Commission for improperly spending nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions on student loans, new clothes and other personal expenses.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Kacie Starr Triplett and her campaign committee also failed to accurately report about $20,000 in donations or expenditures. She can avoid the full fine if she pays 10 percent of it within 45 days. There are no criminal penalties.

Triplett, a Democrat, did not respond to a newspaper interview request. She apologized for her “greed and selfishness” in an email to supporters.

She was elected in 2007 and stepped in 2012. Triplett was also a local spokeswoman for President Barack Obama’s 2008 primary campaign.

 

Here's the full statement released to the media Thursday afternoon:

Dear Friend:

I am full of regret for not fulfilling the trust, support and friendship you have given me. But most of all, I am sorry.

It will soon become public that, while serving as Alderman, I converted campaign funds for personal use. My actions were illegal and indefensible.

Regrettably, my mistakes resulted not from need, but from greed and selfishness. I fell into a behavior in which, if I desired something that I could not afford, I used my campaign funds to buy it. This was wrong.

My conduct began on a small-scale that I erroneously convinced myself was innocent and harmless. However, I now realize that the misappropriation of any amount is improper and beneath the standards for anyone who serves the public.

Last fall, I contacted the Missouri Ethics Commission to notify them of my violations of our state's election law. Along with legal counsel, I met with them in Jefferson City and laid out every dollar spent on personal use. We provided every transaction and bank statement in an attempt to provide complete transparency for my mistakes. This week, we finalized an agreement documenting my violations and stipulating the restitution and fines I will pay as a result of my actions.

While the official inquiry has concluded, this letter is the first step of my journey to rebuild the trust of individuals like you. So many people took a chance and voted for me at the age of 26. They knocked on doors for me and stood out in the rain for me. You believed in me and I know I have disappointed you. Nothing is more important to me than repairing the damage I have done.

Please know that I am committed to making good on my very bad judgment. I am not yet sure what God and the future holds for me, but I know the first step is to admit what I have done and to no longer keep things in the dark.

Again, I am deeply sorry for my actions, ask for your forgiveness, and welcome your prayers and continued friendship.

Sincerely,

Kacie Starr Triplett

 

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