ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Quigley Carpenter has been accused of not only drawing her salary, but her pension as well, putting her income from St. Louis taxpayers in excess of $140,000 a year.
Carpenter has been a fixture at St. Louis City Hall for 39 years, most of them as the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds, but was forced to step down last summer after a charge of nepotism.
"There are those who ask why I retired, and the answer is I had bills to pay," said Carpenter. "The only option to make sure my bills were paid was to retire and use my retirement income."
Carpenter, however, was already running for re-election and eventually won her old job back. Carpetner was then collecting her pension benefits and earning a salary when she started her job in January.
Richard Frank, the city's personnel director, says it's completely legal to do so and that the city passed an ordinance years ago.
"It allows for a person who is retired and then assumes an elected office to receive their pension not forfeit it," said Frank.
Carpenter says she doesn't think there is a provision for her to stop her pension benefits so she gets both her retirement benefits and salary.
The city ordinance was apparently passed to help retired city workers who wanted to become alderman, which is not a high paying position. The ordinance was passed because the city did not want to make it difficult financially for anyone who had already worked for the city.