ST. LOUIS — Jane Dueker, a Democratic candidate running for St. Louis county executive, came to incumbent Sam Page’s doorstep with new accusations regarding a former county employee who was recently indicted in an alleged bribery scheme involving COVID relief funds.
Page appointed Tony Weaver to the change management coordinator position at the county jail in 2019. The federal indictment was not related to Weaver’s job at the jail.
However, Dueker’s criticism involved Weaver’s jail job. She said there were complaints about him, but Page didn’t act.
“Because he was a political appointee, all complaints lodged against him were not handled by the Division of Personnel or the HR department of St. Louis County,” said Dueker. “They were forwarded directly to the County Executive’s Office. They were never investigated. They were never responded to.”
On Wednesday, Sam Page had this answer when asked about it at a morning news conference: “There was no unusual, alarming behavior that was brought to my attention. Again, there are 3,800 county employees, and there’s a process of managing complaints. And we expect to hear a lot of accusations as we enter the political season. We will look at all of them, and if there is something we can do better, we will.”
Page said he fired Weaver as soon as the indictments came out.
“I acted within an hour of getting the information,” Page said. “I think that’s pretty fast.”
Weaver was hired to the jail job back in 2019. Republicans on the council opposed his hiring to the $82,500 a year job, saying he wasn’t qualified.
Dueker said there were numerous complaints against Weaver that weren’t acted on by Sam Page.
“Whenever Sam Page has a political issue he needs to deal with, his solution is to reach into the pocket of county taxpayers and get taxpayers’ dollars to help his political problem. It’s illegal. It’s wrong, and that’s one of the reasons only one of the reasons I’m running for county executive in the Democratic primary.”
To that Page answered: “And we expect to hear a lot of accusations as we enter the political season. We will look at all of them, and if there is something we can do better, we will.”
The federal indictment against Weaver involves an alleged kickback scheme with a small business to get COVID funds. Weaver pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.