Microphone in front of meeting room empty chairs before the conference.

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County Council Rumors Cause a Stir at Public Meeting

July 26, 2018 - 10:45 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - St. Louis County Council members could send out subpoenas to staffers of the Economic Development Partnership and Port Authority who didn't show up to testify at an ethics hearing Tuesday.

The council has questions for them about real estate deals and no-bid contracts.  During the public meeting, though, councilmen Ernie Trakas and Sam Page also disclosed a rumor in a way that's being called "highly inappropriate and unethical."

We are not reporting on the substance of the rumor because we can't independently confirm it. Several reporters, including our Michael Calhoun, pressed Trakas and Page for any proof of their claim. Trakas says he doesn't have any to give.

“I assured the person who told me that his identity was safe with me and I honor my word. I have little doubt that the information is credible,” he says.

County police are a central part of the alleged story, and yet Page admitted to us that he never double-checked that story with them.

“I did not contact the county police, and I’ll depend on you all to follow up and see what they have to say. I don’t think they'll lie to you,” he says.

When we asked, a police spokesman said, “we are not involved."

Making this more unusual is the election for County Executive is just two weeks away. 

Cordell Whitlock, a spokesman for County Executive Steve Stenger says "we have no knowledge of this matter and it's highly inappropriate and unethical for Trakas and Page to make such statements based on unsubstantiated political rumors. Yet another political stunt."