Koster to act on St. Louis County municipal courts

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is headed to St. Louis to discuss the region’s troubled municipal courts.

The Jefferson City Democrat has scheduled a Thursday morning news conference to announce an unspecified action involving several municipalities in the county. He’ll be joined by the Rev. Starsky Wilson and Rich McClure, who co-chair the state’s Ferguson Commission.

Critics say St. Louis County’s 81 municipal courts are virtual debtor’s prisons, extracting fines and fees from poor drivers and using the money to fund local governments that otherwise wouldn’t be able to operate.

Missouri’s auditor is reviewing the finances of several such courts statewide, including Ferguson. And some legislators want to limit the amount of money small cities can collect from traffic violations.

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