By Leisa Zigman I-Team Reporter
St. Louis (KSDK) - The chief administrator of the St. Louis Municipal Courts is in trouble for not only hiring her brother, but for doing it without a contract or a bid.
The mayor's office says she showed "tremendous lapse in judgment."
Documents obtained by the I-Team show that Catherine Ruggeri-Rea hired her brother and paid him $2,250 to reconcile books over the past three months. The mayor's office says it was an emergency hire.
Sam Dotson is Operations Director for Mayor Francis Slay. He said, "The courts lost an accountant position. They didn't have an accountant. The money could not be transferred from the courts to the treasurer."
But Ruggeri-Rea's brother is not a CPA. In fact, we couldn't find him with any state license. The city says he has book keeping experience and a CPA isn't needed for the job.
Dotson says public officials should not be hiring relatives to do contract work. He added, "The city has a code of conduct and directly hiring a family member is outside of that code of conduct. It is a tremendous lapse in judgment, and something we're going to take a look at to make sure there wasn't any impropriety."
Dotson says the brother never directly handled any money but the mayor is asking for an independent audit.
In addition to the audit, she faces a disciplinary charge
Ruggeri-Rea would not comment to us and attempts to reach her brother were not successful.