Alderman Fred Wessels Vows to Clean Up St. Louis Treasurer's Office
|Larry Williams hasn't updated his City Hall mugshot since the early '80s.|
Williams, in office since 1981, has remained mum on the issue, saying that he can't comment on ongoing litigation. But that hasn't stopped one of his City Hall colleagues from teeing off on the treasurer.
This week Alderman Fred Wessels (Ward 13) announced his intention to unseat Williams in the August 2012 Democratic primary. Wessels, himself no newcomer to City Hall, tells Daily RFT that the current scandal is just the latest in the more than twenty years of frustration he's had with the treasurer's office.
"In 1988 a state audit found that the over $20,000 was missing from a $100,000 miscellaneous cash account that the treasurer's office allowed employees to cash checks against," says Wessels. "Forty-seven of the checks were from Williams and his family and approximately $15,000 worth of those bounced."
In 1989 Wessels sponsored and passed two bills that reduced the cash account to $5,000 and prohibited treasurer's office employees from cashing checks against the fund. Wessels says other legislation he's sponsored to reform the treasurer's office haven't passed. Though that hasn't stopped Wessels from giving Williams an honorary "Golden Fleece" award.
(A recent audit of the treasurer's office found that 43 of the 200 employees were related to each other.)
Wessels says that if elected he promises to:
• Eliminate costly no-bid consultant contracts
• Properly document investment decisions
• Create a formal policy for the selection of professional services
Oh, and Wessels promises Daily RFT that if elected he'll also update the photo on file with the city every couple of years -- something that Williams hasn't done since coming into office in 1981.
In other news, today Williams announced that he will seek re-election.