Clay wants federal review of St. Louis municipal courts -

Clay wants federal review of St. Louis municipal courts

 FERGUSON, Mo. ( -- In the wake of the Ferguson unrest, Congressman Lacy Clay asked Tuesday for the Department of Justice to expand its investigation into traffic fees and fines.

A recent study found St. Louis area municipal courts collected 46 percent of all fines and fees collected in the state.

The money goes toward things like police training, battered person shelter, inmate security fund, and the prosecuting attorney retirement fund.
Clay said the system repeatedly victimizes residents, many of whom are African American.
“The council has passed all the different costs and have found them appropriate, but the genesis was in state law,” said Pat Redington, St. Louis County counsel. 
"The question is, why aren't these things spread, if they’re really for a public good or a public program, why aren't they spread across everyone, as opposed to being just tacked on to fines," said Dave Leipholz with Better Together.
Redington added the county is considering taking a look at the fines, saying this is a time to review the whole municipal court system. 

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