This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 21, 2012 - For decades, the St. Louis circuit clerk was often the city’s most powerful politician. Joe Roddy and his army of patronage workers were once the muscle who helped get mayors elected, while Freeman Bosley Jr. used the post’s clout to help get elected mayor himself.
All of which makes last week’s action by the Missouri General Assembly all the more stunning. With no floor opposition and no apparent public interest, legislators voted to end the St. Louis circuit clerk’s days as a citywide elected office and turn it into an appointive post. The city’s circuit judges will decide who holds the job.