St. Louis Public Radio News
6:02 pm
Wed April 14, 2010

State Auditor Montee concludes 2-year audit of St. Louis City

St. Louis, MO – State Auditor Susan Montee has concluded a two-year investigation of St. Louis City Government. The wide-ranging audit looked into 24 city departments as well as the board of police commissioners.

Montee released an audit of the Mayor's office on Wednesday. The audit turned up only minor issues, including a lobbyist contract that did not include proper documentation.

"Not serious at all, these are just some administrative things," said Montee.

The Mayor's Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford said despite the $1million cost to taxpayers, the audits were good for the city.

"Well, it's like going to the dentist," said Rainford. "You dread going to the dentist, it hurts while you're in the dentist's chair, but once you're done you're glad you went through it. We agreed with more than 90 percent of the findings and we've implemented more than 90 percent of those."

Montee says her biggest concerns included woefully outdated computer systems at the comptroller and payroll offices.

The audit also turned up one case of embezzlement at the city streets department, which resulted in criminal charges.

Montee also took a swipe at a system of 8 independent offices, including the Collector of Revenue, Sheriff, Circuit Clerk, License Collector, Public Administrator, Treasurer, Recorder of Deeds, and Circuit Attorney all of which do not fall under the control of city hall.

"That's part of the problem," said Montee. "You have a whole lot of people out there that are running their own separate shop without any umbrella of control."

Montee says this kind of fractured system makes oversight and efficiency much harder.