Charles Carson
The Post-Dispatch revealed this weekend that after an embezzlement investigation into Brentwood City Administrator Chris Seemayer, police discovered that Brentwood firefighters were allegedly paid “sham overtime” for 24 years.

Would it surprise you to learn that the State Auditor does not have the jurisdiction to audit the Brentwood Fire Protection District?

According to the State Auditor’s website:
The State Auditor's office does not have original jurisdiction over most local governmental entities except school districts or counties with no county auditor. Therefore, the only way the State Auditor's office can obtain jurisdiction to perform an audit in these areas is either through the petition process, or through a governor's request.

This year, the Brentwood Fire Department has been allotted $2,190,664 from the city budget. The Post-Dispatch alleges that anywhere between $12,000 and $28,000 was misused every year.  The city could hire an independent auditing firm to investigate, but various firms have missed this is in the past.

If Brentwood residents want the State Auditor to review how their taxpayer dollars are spent, residents must petition for an audit. According to Ch. 29.230 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, the petition requires a minimum number of signatures. In Brentwood’s case, the petition would need 15 percent of the total number of ballots cast for a gubernatorial candidate in the most recent election.

In the 2008 General Election, 4,805 of the 5,738 registered voters in Brentwood cast ballots, according to information provided by the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners.  Some of those ballots may not have included votes for a gubernatorial candidate, but, assuming that they did, 721 registered voters must sign the petition to trigger an audit under state law.

For additional information regarding an audit request, please visit the State Auditor’s website by clicking here.

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Charles Carson