Kacie Starr Triplett: Former St. Louis Alderwoman Admits Looting Campaign
A former St. Louis alderwoman used her campaign funds to treat herself to salon and spa services, pay her mortgage and student loans and pad her wallet with spending cash.
Kacie Starr Triplett: "I know I have disappointed you."
In 2007, a 26-year-old Kacie Starr Triplett became one of the city's youngest politicians ever when she was elected alderwoman of the city's Sixth Ward. Five years later -- in November 2012 -- Triplett resigned while in office to take a job working as a homeless advocate and consultant with the nonprofit Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis.
In an apology letter emailed to her former supporters today, Triplett admitted wrongdoing.
It will soon become public that, while serving as Alderman, I converted campaign funds for personal use. My actions were illegal and indefensible. Regrettably, my mistakes resulted not from need, but from greed and selfishness. I fell into a behavior in which, if I desired something that I could not afford, I used my campaign funds to buy it. This was wrong.
According to a 52-page consent order with the Missouri Ethics Commission (viewable below), Triplett acknowledged converting between $8,000 and $18,900 in funds for personal use out of the Friends of Kacie Starr Triplett campaign.
The list of personal expenditures include:
- $4,284 in cash withdrawals
- $4,450 in mortgage payments
- $1,925 in credit card bills
- $1,068 in spa and salon services
- $513 for clothes, shoes and jewelry
- $125 for a fitness club and massages
The consent order further alleges that Triplett failed to timely and accurately report political contributions and accepted anonymous cash donations in violation of state law. In an agreement with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Triplett is to pay a penalty of $100,000 but that amount would be dropped to $10,000 if she pays it within 45 days and reports all missing campaign reports within the next six months.
A call to Triplett was not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.
Continue on to read Triplett's apology letter in its entirety as well as the consent order agreement that Triplett signed with the Ethics Commission.
I am full of regret for not fulfilling the trust, support and friendship you have given me. But most of all, I am sorry.
It will soon become public that, while serving as Alderman, I converted campaign funds for personal use. My actions were illegal and indefensible.
Regrettably, my mistakes resulted not from need, but from greed and selfishness. I fell into a behavior in which, if I desired something that I could not afford, I used my campaign funds to buy it. This was wrong.
My conduct began on a small-scale that I erroneously convinced myself was innocent and harmless. However, I now realize that the misappropriation of any amount is improper and beneath the standards for anyone who serves the public.
Last fall, I contacted the Missouri Ethics Commission to notify them of my violations of our state's election law. Along with legal counsel, I met with them in Jefferson City and laid out every dollar spent on personal use. We provided every transaction and bank statement in an attempt to provide complete transparency for my mistakes. This week, we finalized an agreement documenting my violations and stipulating the restitution and fines I will pay as a result of my actions.
While the official inquiry has concluded, this letter is the first step of my journey to rebuild the trust of individuals like you. So many people took a chance and voted for me at the age of 26. You knocked on doors for me and stood out in the rain for me. You believed in me and I know I have disappointed you. Nothing is more important to me than repairing the damage I have done.
Please know that I am committed to making good on my very bad judgment. I am not yet sure what God and the future holds for me, but I know the first step is to admit what I have done and to no longer keep things in the dark. I pray that somehow out of this mistake, God in the end will get the glory.
Again, I am deeply sorry for my actions, ask for your forgiveness, and welcome your prayers and continued friendship.
Kacie Starr Triplett