Elected official fires back after News 4 investigation - KMOV.com

Elected official fires back after News 4 investigation

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St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones. Credit: KMOV St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones. Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

One local elected official is lashing out after a News 4 investigation revealed she took close to 50 trips, many using public funds.

St Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones held a news conference Tuesday saying she was being attacked in the media but she's not arguing with any of the facts of New 4’s Investigation.

She is just demanding that News 4 look into the other candidates as well. When it comes to travel, News 4 already has.

“More stories have been run on me than anyone else, that's why I feel attacked,” said Jones.

Jones stood in front of supporters Tuesday, upset by media coverage by KMOV and two other media outlets.

News 4 Investigates revealed the close to 50 trips Jones has taken, paid for in-part or in-full with tax dollars.

She was personally reimbursed close to $22,000 dollars for travel.

City leaders questioned why the city treasurer would attend some of the meetings and they wanted to know how taxpayers benefited.

“It's not right, it's not proper. It's not proper use of tax payer's money,” said Alderman Joe Vaccaro.

For the investigation, she sat down with News 4 and defended every trip.

“Every one of my trips is well documented and was because 1.) I am a leader on a national stage, I have been requested to come to meetings and conferences to speak and because I have been requested to talk with other executives,” said Jones in the original News 4 story.

Tuesday, Jones, though, took to the podium with more to say.

“If you're going to talk about me, you need to talk about anybody. I have been the only one reported on. I haven't seen any stories about any other candidate as much as I have seen stories about myself,”  

Prior to airing the story last week, News 4 did look into other candidates, conducting weeks of research and requesting city-related travel documents for all other elected officials currently running for mayor.

In the same time period, Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed took one trip.

The Clerk of the Board says Aldermen Jeffery Boyd, Antonio French, and Lyda Krewson didn't take any documented trips on the city taxpayers' dime.

All aldermen, though, do have access to up $4,000 annually for their expenses.

“Taxpayers deserve to know,” said Curtis Kalin from Citizens Against Government Waste.

He says taxpayers should get to know about any elected officials' trips. 

“I think she used a tired old political tactic of attacking the media but the problem with that it, and it doesn't normally work, but I don't think it will work is because it provides an excuse and not an answer. It's just a blame shifting,” Kalin said.

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