St. Louis Country Prosecutor Wesley Bell unveils "The Bell Plan."

(Kevin Killeen, KMOX)

County Prosecutor responds to report of hundreds of dollars of unpaid parking tickets

Bell says he "will not be bogged down by parking issues" and is working to have the issue resolved

July 17, 2019 - 11:16 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Is it fair for the St. Louis County Prosecutor to ignore hundreds of dollars worth of unpaid parking tickets, which he acquired in government-issued vehicle? That's the argument happening on KMOX and in the public after reports of Wesley Bell's outstanding bills with the City of Clayton.

Between April 4 and June 18, Bell racked up nearly $800 worth of unpaid parking violations, according to KSDK. Bell says he "will not be bogged down by parking issues."

Bell responded to the reports saying, "This parking practice has been ongoing for years and continues to this day, not only by this office and the previous prosecutor’s administration, but also by many other county agencies. Upon entering office, we were informed of the rules and we have followed those rules."

Attorney and weekly KMOX host Jane Dueker is calling the move by Bell "offensive" to not pay his parking tickets.

You can hear the conversation beginning at the 11:00 mark of the below audio:

Dueker brought up the previous county prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, who she says usually parked his vehicle across the street in an employee parking garage. She noted that McCulloch also lost one of his legs due to cancer, but still made the longer walk. 

"For 29 years, with one leg, it was tedious for him to walk across the street and park in the employee garage," Dueker says. "These are able-bodies lawyers. And what's really ironic is, they want four spots for these four senior staffers ... One of the senior trials lawyers is in a wheelchair and they're not arguing for a spot for him."

Bell's Chief of Staff Sam Alton responded to the report, saying said they need the closest parking spots because of how often they are in and our of their offices at the justice center.

"To have to walk all the way over there (to the other garage) and walk all the way back, it doesn't sound tedious, but I promise you it is tedious especially if you need to get somewhere fast," Alton told KSDK.

KSDK reported that Clayton Police have decided to temporarily stop ticketing Bell and other senior staffers, along as they are not blocking fire hydrants or crosswalks. 

A hearing has been scheduled to discuss the parking ticket problem in August. 

© 2019 KMOX (Entercom). All rights reserved