St. Charles Co official accused of sexual harassment, misusing a -

St. Charles Co official accused of sexual harassment, misusing authority

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

( – The St. Charles County Director of Elections is facing accusations he has misused his authority and made his office a difficult place to work.

Former Assistant Director in St. Charles County Elections Director Charlene Lohman said taxpayers are footing the bill for her former’s boss’ mistakes.

News 4 has learned St. Charles Elections Director Rich Chrismer has been the center of multiple lawsuits, including a 2011 sexual harassment suit and several other complaints regarding working conditions. St. Charles County said those lawsuits are still being litigated and did not comment on the cases.

Lohman said she filed a different lawsuit against Chrismer, alleging he overcharged for election fees while taking grant money from the state.

“You don’t make a profit when you run an election, you zero in and zero out, you charge the fees then pay the bills, but you always end up with zero. He’s not ending up with zero," Lohman said.

News 4 obtained an audit from 2012 that backed up Lohman’s claim. County officials told News 4 there is very little they can do to hold Chrismer accountable.

“The St. Charles County Charter denies the County Executive or County Council oversight over the Director of Elections,” Colene McEntee with St. Charles County said.

County officials also told News 4 they can’t remove Chrismer from office. Chrismer was not available for comment Thursday.

Chrismer is also facing accusations that he fired a former employee for political reasons, and for intentionally trying to keep a candidate for St. Charles County Sheriff off the ballot.

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