ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- A fleecing of your tax dollars could`ve been avoided, according St. Louis Alderman Sam Moore. Fox 2 previously exposed a former `government help` office stripped by criminals. Moore told investigator Chris Hayes that he tried to warn bureaucrats, but he fears the crime was an 'inside job.'
Moore shook his head when he said, "That they would desert us like this and they would leave us with this empty building.. you think we need another building like this? Look at one behind us."
The Human Development Corporation, also known as HDC, shut down last fall after the State of Missouri exposed the mismanagement of more than $600,000. Then Fox 2 found the site ravaged by thieves. Crooks even stripped a brand new 15 passenger van in the building. Alderman Sam Moore thinks it was an inside job because of how thieves got the pipes.
He explained, "That shut off valve was down the stairs over to the rear, over to the side and then behind a telephone box. It was very well hidden. So whoever turned off the water to get the pipes, to me had to know where the shut off valve was."
The feds gave $4.2 million to HDC just last year. So the HDC building was filled with state of the art tools. Alderman Moore said he offered to help the people in charge, just as the non-profit closed.
He said, "We offered to buy the furniture and liquidation that was in here, because we have a housing organization. We have a lot of businesses that can utilize this stuff." He added, "Not only did we offer to buy it, we offered to store it, but we were told we could not do that."
In our original report, Board President Charles Barge said he was doing his best to keep up. After we explained where thieves entered, he secured the opening. But the woman in charge of day to day operations appears to have disappeared. CEO Ruth Smith has not returned calls. Her picture sits among the rubble of an organization that received millions of your taxdollars.
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