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Stenger, Page at odds over St. Louis County Auditor position

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger sent out a letter Tuesday asking for the county auditor to be removed from office.

The auditor was brought to the council for the position by Council Chairman Sam Page, the same person that Stenger had heated words with during a council meeting last week.

Page claimed this was a personal attack on the auditor, who is also a close friend of his. Stenger said he was just responding to the facts that were presented to him about the auditor’s work and personal finances.

In a letter to Page, Stenger stated multiple reasons why he thinks auditor Mark Tucker should be fired.

Stenger said Tucker does not have any account experience and has not produced a single audit in six months.

Page defended Tucker’s work. He said Tucker has extensive budget and fiscal oversight experience and he has not done an audit because the council has not asked for one.

Stenger also questioned Tucker’s person finances. He said Tucker has a federal income tax lien of roughly $90,000.

“The auditor is the taxpayer watchdog for the county, it is an independent office that needs to be filled with someone with integrity and someone who meets the highest of professional standards, and in regards to our current auditor, who was brought forth by the Chairman of the Council Sam Page, he fails on all those points,” Stenger said.

Page claimed that tax lien is because of a divorce that Tucker went through.

“He had to liquidate his 401k to take care of his family and that comes with tax penalties and he negotiated that with the IRS and he has been making monthly payments on that for six years and it doesn’t preclude him from getting a job,” Page said.

It will be up to the council to remove the auditor from his position. Stenger does not have a vote on that matter.