Professor Reuben Comments on Possible Campaign Finance Law Issue in St. Louis County

Inquiries into a long-term lease for office space for St. Louis County offices at the former Northwest Plaza in St. Ann, Mo., have now shifted focus to the campaign manager for St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. A recent story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides an update on the St. Louis County Council’s hearings about the lease, and the role of Stenger’s campaign manager in the lease process. Professor Richard Reuben was asked about the timing of campaign payments to the manager and whether or not they raise any ethics issues, “One possibility is they were, as Stenger suggests, just deferred payments, however that claim seems questionable in light of the absence of reporting the expense in the year it was incurred,” he said. “Another possible characterization of that payment is that it could be that it was a bonus to a campaign manager who had done a good job … and that seems a little more troubling. There is every appearance of impropriety.”