ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A family from north St. Louis County is at the center of controversy; they have been pleading with the City of Flordell Hills to tear down a run-down house right next to their home.

They said they were told numerous times that the city had no money to demolish it. They said the Flordell Hills mayor and two clerks were among the people the family asked for help.

The family said they were shocked when those clerks, both grandmothers, were arrested and indicted on federal charges last summer for allegedly stealing $633,000 from the city and using the money for things like gambling.

“This house is a hazard. I been asking the mayor, I been asking the two clerks, does anybody know anything about this house,” said Tony Straughter, one of the homeowners. “Do they care about this house? I even asked them if this house was next to your house, it would have been torn down. Raccoons, possums, and squirrels, and the raccoons stay in the house, and it’s just a hazard. It’s like they won’t do nothing about it; they keep saying they don’t have no money, but apparently, they had money, but it’s gone now.”

“Probably within the next three to six months it will either be torn down or there will be someone back in there working on it,” said Flordell Hills Mayor Joseph Noeth.

When asked about the alleged theft of funds taken from the city by Noeth’s former clerks, he said, “you can imagine it was tragic; these are grandmothers. If you can’t trust grandmothers, who can you trust.”