Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

County Officials Seek Ouster of Collector Who Didn't Pay Taxes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

County Officials Seek Ouster of Collector Who Didn't Pay Taxes

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS COUNTY Two prominent county officials on Friday called for the ouster of Stacy Bailey, the county's new Collector of Revenue who has not paid personal property taxes since 2008 and has filed for bankruptcy.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch and County Council Chairman Mike O'Mara said Bailey's hiring has hurt the county's reputation.

"This damages the integrity of the county and, because I'm a part of county government, it affects me," McCulloch said.

He added, "If whoever hired Bailey doesn't have the sense to remove her, I hope she'll have the decency to resign." O'Mara agreed, saying, "The administration should give Bailey the option: step down or be terminated." A spokesman for County Executive Charlie A. Dooley said Dooley was on a plane en route from an out- of-town trip and not available for comment.

Bailey did not return calls for comment on Friday.

A spokeswoman for Collector of Revenue Eugene Leung, who hired Bailey, said he had left his office early Friday. He could not be reached for comment.

Bailey, 40, was hired last month to oversee the county's real estate and personal property tax collections. She and her husband, William Bailey, owe $4,801 in back taxes on their three vehicles.

The couple filed for bankruptcy last year, citing debts of nearly $393,000. County officials involved in Bailey's hiring have said they did not learn about her tax and financial problems until this week. But they have insisted that Bailey was the most qualified of 155 applicants and that they were not reconsidering her hiring.

McCulloch compared Bailey's hiring to that of Dean Burns, a convicted felon hired by the County Economic Council in July. Burns quit the post after McCulloch called for his resignation.

"I've been to a number of meetings over the last several days and this (Bailey issue) is all anybody's talking about," Mc-Culloch said. "People are saying, ' What are they trying to do, completely destroy county government's reputation? …

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