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Investigation reveals county auditor tasked to find wasteful spending is himself a questionable – and expensive – hire

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    ST. LOUIS (KMOV) — There’s a new job opening in town, paid for with your tax dollars.

Nearly four years after News 4 Investigates exposed concerns about the county’s auditor – a supposed watchdog with a highly paid job in St. Louis County – now, he might finally be hitting the road.

It’s been four years since Mark Tucker dodged our questions about his qualifications. Tucker was recommended to the council by then-chair Sam Page. But the county executive at the time, Steve Stenger, slammed Tucker for being unqualified to do the job.

Of course, it was Stenger who’d find himself in the big house. But in a scathing state audit of all things leading up to Stenger’s downfall, State Auditor Nicole Galloway also criticized the county auditor for failing to complete needed audits or because of completed audits that weren’t up to standards.

“It was not very complimentary,” said Councilman Mark Harder. He says they will now finally be posting Tucker’s job. He’s currently working on an expired term. “We have got to have higher standards than that, for a very important watchdog position that this could be, if done right.”

Recently, the council changed the requirements for the job, adding additional education and job experience. Qualifications, Tucker himself may not meet, should he apply for the job again.

A review of his website appears to show Tucker completed just four reports in 2019 and zero for all of 2020. He was paid nearly $340,000 over the last four years.

“Do you feel like we got what we paid for from that role?” asked Investigative Reporter Lauren Trager.

“I think we need to focus on moving forward and that’s what we hope to do, people who are experienced, people who know what need to be done,” Harder said.

News 4 again tried to get ahold of Tucker recently for comment, but never heard back. County Executive Sam Page would say only that “the county council hires the auditor.”

Harder says they are looking for a go-getter, someone who can be a real watchdog for the county. If you want to apply, you can send your resume and qualifications to mharder@stlouisco.com.

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