St. Louis County Council Chairman stands behind embattled audito - KMOV.com

St. Louis County Council Chairman stands behind embattled auditor

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Mark Tucker (Credit: KMOV) Mark Tucker (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) --St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger called for the firing of County Auditor Mark Tucker Tuesday following a News 4 Investigation.

Tucker was hired to be the watchdog for the county’s tax dollars, but there are concerns about his qualifications.

News 4 discovered Tucker has a tax lien of more than $90,000 against him, and is not a CPA nor has he ever been employed as an accountant. The law requires the auditor have five years accounting experience.

As a result, Stenger thinks he should be gone.

“He cannot responsibly oversee his own finances. How can he be trusted to oversee the County’s?” asked Stenger.

County Council Chairman Sam Page said Tucker is doing his job. He said the tax lien came after Tucker liquidated his 401K during his divorce to support his family, and Tucker has been sticking to a payment schedule.

“The back taxes based on that life event did not prevent him from working for a state government and its not fair to try and exclude him from a county job based on very good behavior over past six years,” Page said.

Tucker is paid $85,000 in salary for the position and has not performed any audits in his first months on the job. Page said this is because Tucker has not been asked to do any audits during his time in the position.

Some on the council sided with Page.

Councilwoman Hazel Erby echoed Page’s sentiments saying, “Owing taxes does not prevent someone from working for the state or the county.”

Others share concerns about Tucker’s qualifications.

“I don't believe the auditor we hired was qualified, so I do think he should be replaced,” Councilman Pat Dolan said.

Stenger said he will continue to call for Tucker's termination.

“I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in our county that would want an individual with a $100,000 federal tax lien to to be auditing St. Louis County," said Stenger.

Chairman Page is standing behind Tucker. 

"He’s done what we've asked him to do and we’re moving forward, but the County Executive doesn't get to choose his duties or assign his tasks that's not the role of the County Executive," said Page.

Stenger had no say in Tucker’s hiring, and despite his push to remove him from the position, the decision rests with the county council by law.

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