St. Louis Board of Aldermen wants investigation into Rams settlement money
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen wants an investigation into the Rams settlement money.
News 4 Investigates has reported that it has been months since the $790 million settlement with team owner Stan Kroenke but where the money will go hasn’t been disclosed. The settlement was reached in November 2021. It stems from a lawsuit that was filed in 2017 by the city, county and Regional Convention and Sports Authority Complex (RSA) over the Rams’ move to Los Angeles.
After lawyer fees, St. Louis walked away with $513 million, money that has to be divided between the city, county, and RSA.
Conversations on how to split the money are being held between St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, County Executive Dr. Sam Page, RSA leadership, and lawyers. The talks have not been made public, despite growing questions why public funds are being handled privately.
During Friday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, a resolution was passed to appoint a Special Committee to “investigate and receive a report from the City Counselor and any and all others involved with the $790 million settlement.” The Special Committee will have the power to subpoena witnesses and go through books and papers.
The goal of the resolution is to plan the best way to allocate the funds in a way that will serve the citizens of St. Louis best.
“This is important that we know what’s going on with this money that’s coming in,” said Alderwoman Sharon Tyus, who is behind the resolution. “There are some people who tend to think that their money is going to be tried to be funded without going through the Board of Aldermen.”
County council members claim they have also been kept in the dark.
“Just come clean with what’s going on,” said County Council Chair Rita Heard Days. “I get that question about once a week, ‘what are you doing with the Rams money, how much is St. Louis County going to get, what’s the latest? I really just don’t have any information for anyone. I’ve not been given an update.”
Heard Days said she’s still weighing what to do next.
“I’m not sure if legislation or resolutions are always the answer but when you don’t get movement sometimes you have to resort to that but I really would not like to do that,” she said.
When News 4 Investigates asked Heard Days if in 7 months she hasn’t been let in on the conversation, how much longer does she wait.
“I don’t know I’m a patient person,” Heard Days said. “I don’t want to hammer or use a heavy hand in trying to get this done. We made a big step in getting this settlement done so I think it’s only right that you sit down with us, talk about it with us, and figure it out.”
Mayor Tishaura Jones declined an interview. Her office sent News 4 the following statement:
“While we cannot discuss the ongoing NFL negotiations, Mayor Jones remains committed that any funds the City procures through this historic agreement must be invested responsibly with an eye towards our children and grandchildren - not the next election cycle. We cannot take a hammer to the political piggy bank, or our future generations will end up paying the price. "
County Executive Dr. Sam Page declined an interview. His office sent News 4 the following statement:
“The county counselor negotiates all legal civil matters and cannot comment on mediation until the issue is resolved. Dr. Page has said repeatedly that he wants the county’s share of the funds to be spent on the long-term future of St. Louis County. When we have the funds in hand, we can begin robust discussions with the council and the public to determine the best way to use them. Right now, the council is set to decide how to best spend $73 million in unallocated ARPA funds and that will be their focus over the next few months after getting input from residents, businesses and nonprofits.”
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