St. Louis County in Missouri is back in the news again. To say the county has had its share of controversy in the last twelve months is a gross understatement. This time Betty McCray, the newly elected mayor of Kinloch, Missouri, was allegedly impeached before she started her first day in office for voter fraud according to Fox News.
Kinloch which is situated between Ferguson, Missouri, and the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis County has been a revolving door of scandals in the past five years. A former mayor was imprisoned for federal fraud and theft. The city hired a convicted felon as city manager. Last but certainly not least, city property was sold to an alleged drug dealer.
The allegations of voter fraud stemmed from St. Louis County elections that were held on April 7. The city was concerned that there were registered voters who no longer resided in the city. An investigation turned up that in fact six people were registered to two apartments that seemed to have been vacant for some time. Despite these allegations, a St. Louis County clerk swore McCray in. When McCray showed up for her first day of work Thursday, she was met by a half dozen police officers and the city attorney James Robinson who was holding articles of impeachment. McCray had strong words for the city attorney whose job will be in jeopardy if she is exonerated.
“You may be the attorney now, but I promise you, you won’t be later. I was sworn in by the St. Louis County. Today I take office. I want them out, I want the keys.”
This is not the first fight that the city has had with McCray. In March, Kinloch officials filed a lawsuit with St. Louis County claiming McCray had fraudulently obtained a house from the city which was selling off homes that could not be lived in due to the airport expansion. City documents do not show how McCray paid for the home. According to the mayor, she purchased the home for $9,000, and the homes were advertised to everyone.
“I didn’t defraud the city of anything. They are trying to get those homes back, so they can get the money and put it in their pocket.”
This is not the way to start out the first day on the job. This is also another black eye for St. Louis County. The county seems to be getting nothing but negative press lately. What do you think? Does the city have a right to keep her out of office until the matter is settled, or is the city grossly overstepping their bounds? I would love to hear what you have to say.
[Photo by St. Louis Post-Dispatch]