Theresa Saunders works full-time as the superintendent of District 189 in East St. Louis, Illinois. She lives in south St. Louis. Dr. Saunders has been here for six years. But she drives an expensive Cadillac with a Michigan license plate and claims her primary home is in Ypsilanti, Michigan, more than five hundred miles away.
Dr. Saunders refuses to talk about it. School Board President Lonzo Greenwood defends her right to do it, but government officials in Missouri and Michigan insist it raised red flags and they promise to look into it.
Tom Vollmer, the Chief Deputy of the Collector of Revenue's office for the City of St. Louis, told me he would investigate the possibility that Dr. Saunders might owe the city personal property taxes, including any unpaid taxes on her Cadillac. According to Vollmer, Dr. Saunders hasn't paid any personal property taxes in the city for at least the last five years, even though her local address is listed as a south city loft apartment.
In an email, Ypsilanti City Assessor Sharon Doom told me she "will prepare a denial of Principal Residence Exemption (for Dr. Saunders), however I can only deny the exemption for the current and three previous years." It's unclear how much Dr. Saunders might owe in back taxes, if any at all. Dr. Saunders will be notified of the denial and have the opportunity to appeal, according to Doom.
Dr. Saunders has some explaining to do, but as usual, she refuses to answer our questions.