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Stenger requests state audit of St. Louis County Council over bridge projects

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is asking for a state audit of the county council’s process in awarding road and bridge projects. He wants two bridges repaired and his name cleared of any conflict of interest.

Pledging transparency, Stenger asked Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway to conduct a comprehensive audit.

“I would like the audit to be conducted as timely as possible, because I'm concerned of the role politics play in the process is putting public safety at risk,” Stenger said.

The county executive said two bridges near Eureka need quick repairs. MoDOT rates the Lewis Bridge a 2 on a scale of 100 and the Allen Bridge a 17. Councilman Mark Harder advanced the repairs to the council, but they were denied.

“The county council, for some reason, voted down multiple measures in political retribution against Mark Harder,” Stenger said. “The Lewis Bridge was one of these projects.”

Stenger said it was because Harder voted against an audit candidate. The county executive is also asking for the council to join him in a resolution calling for an audit of all council processes.

“I feel confident enough about our process in the executive branch that I’m willing to have the state auditor come in and review processes in place,” Stenger said.

The Lewis Bridge leads to a public golf course and mansion owned by Mike Roberts, who donated $43,000 to Stenger’s campaign. However, Stenger said that has nothing to do with fixing the bridge.

“They were set to be fixed before I got into office. There’s a five-year capital plan,” Stenger said.

The bridge repairs are on the council docket for next Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Auditor Galloway’s office said they have received the request for an audit and are reviewing it.