Voters question improper use of election mailings - KMOV.com

Voters question improper use of election mailings

Posted: Updated:
(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

As Election Day approaches, some voters worry about improper or even illegal campaign letters.

News4 received complaints from residents in St. Ann and Florissant about endorsement letters.

First a letter from Florissant Mayor Thomas Schneider was sent out last week announcing his picks for Tuesday’s election.

The concern for resident and school board member Mark Behlmann was how it was sent.

“Its a misappropriation of tax payer money is what it comes down to,” said Behlmann.

The letter was sent on the city’s letterhead and distributed through the city’s email data base.

Mayor Schneider told News4 over the phone, he “made a mistake” and that the letter should have been sent on campaign letter head.

“I’ve taken it down online,” Schneider said.

The law in Missouri is very clear that you cannot use tax payer resources to campaign and it can result in fines.

“Generally speaking in laymen’s term the state law does not allow the expenditure, meaning tax money to advocate for or against any candidate or issue on the ballot,” said Eric Fey, St. Louis County Election Director.

In St. Ann, there were similar concerns after a letter was sent from the elected police chief advocating against a Board of Alderman candidate.

Chief Aaron Jiminez said the letter was sent out on his own time, with his own money.

“That letter is on my own election stationary and paid for out of my own fund,” said Jiminez.

Behlmann says he plans to report the Florissant mayor’s mistake to the Missouri State Ethics Commission.

News4 reached out to the Ethics Commission to ask about the potential violations, we are still awaiting a call back.

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly