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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

St. Louis parks officials admit to massive fraud

Monday, 09 September 2013 14:16 Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Two former top St. Louis parks officials face December federal sentencing now that they've admitted stealing nearly half a million dollars from the city since 2005.

Thomas "Dan" Stritzel, the city's 43-year-old chief park ranger, and the deputy parks commissioner, 55-year-old Joseph Vacca, each pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud involving the theft of roughly $465,000.

A May indictment alleged that from January 2005 through the end of last year, Stritzel and Vacca used false or inflated invoices to funnel the pilfered city funds through sham companies. Prosecutors say they spent the money on vehicles, paying off credit card debt, and other expenses.

They each face up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on each count.

Court records show Vacca filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

 

Auditor Schweich weighs in on driver's license scandal

Monday, 09 September 2013 14:10 Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says officials violated state law by requiring driver's license clerks to make electronic copies of applicants' personal documents.

Schweich released an analysis Monday concluding the Department of Revenue broke state law by implementing the policy last December without publishing a formal rule change.

That policy ended in July as a result of a bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor. But Schweich had been asked in April by senators to look into the policy.

The auditor's office says the document scanning policy did not technically violate a separate state law prohibiting Missouri from amending its procedures to comply with the federal Real ID proof-of-identity law. But had the department published a rule, Schweich said it would have violated the anti-Real ID law.

 

Gov. Quinn trying to lure international business to state

Monday, 09 September 2013 14:09 Published in Local News

During his verbal sparring with Texas governor Rick Perry, Missouri  Governor Nixon said states shouldn't be poaching business from each other, but should be looking to foreign markets to bolster their economies. It appears his Illinois colleague would agree.

Governor Pat Quinn has released some figures about the Illinois economy during his trip to Japan. Quinn's office says more than 2,000 foreign-owned businesses employ more than 350,000 people in Illinois. State officials say Japan and the United Kingdom are the top contributors. That number has gone up about 70 thousand positions since 2009.  

Quinn has been in Japan since Friday with his trip scheduled to end Tuesday.

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