STL's recorder of deeds resigns

ST. LOUIS – The recorder of deeds for the City of St. Louis is stepping down, as a controversy swirls around her.

Sharon Quigley Carpenter is under investigation for nepotism. Her opponent in the democratic primary, Ed McFowland, says Carpenter hired her great-nephew to work summers from 2010 to 2012.

McFowland also accuses her of hiring the son of her chief deputy to perform office renovations.

Circuit Attorney Jennifer M. Joyce released this statement:

The Circuit Attorney's Office has received a letter indicating that Ms. Sharon Quigley Carpenter intends to resign from office, effective Monday morning. The specific allegation of nepotism provides no legal basis for criminal prosecution. Ms. Carpenter admitted to violating a provision of the Missouri Constitution. The sole remedy for a violation of that provision is removal from office during the term when the specific conduct occurred. The investigation into the allegations remains open, until such time as her resignation becomes effective.

Statement from Public Information Officer Lauren Trager:

Upon receiving Mr. McFowland's first letter, we conducted an initial review of the applicable law. We determined that there was a legal basis for referring this matter to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and we did so on June 27, 2014. As you know, the SLMPD is the primary investigative body for the City of St. Louis. We are awaiting the results of that investigation, and we expect them shortly. At that point in time, we are prepared to take action, should the investigation substantiate Mr. McFowland's allegations. For more information, please contact the SLMPD.

NewsChannel 5 contact Mayor Francis Slay's office. Here is his statement:

This afternoon, I received a letter of resignation from Recorder of Deeds Sharon Q. Carpenter. The office will be vacant on Monday morning.

Under state law, I will appoint the person who will fill the remainder of the term, which ends December 31, 2014. Until I do, and consistent with the general rule of law, Peggy Meeker, the chief deputy, will manage the office.

I have known Sharon Carpenter most of my life. For more than three decades, and in many ways, Sharon has tried to put the interests of the City first. Her decision today clearly reflects that intention.


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