Cool Valley Mayor Faces Impeachment Over Missing Funds

Jayson Stewart made national headlines when he promised to give every Cool Valley resident $1,000 in bitcoin

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge Jayson Stewart is the mayor of Cool Valley. - THEO WELLING
Jayson Stewart is the mayor of Cool Valley.

The Cool Valley City Council plans to hold a hearing to impeach and remove Mayor Jayson Stewart on January 25. Last month, the council voted on charges that Stewart has allegedly refused to follow council directives, including refusing to share city financial records, disclose the whereabouts of $230,000 in COVID-relief funds and return a city-owned police car and gas card.

The city of 1,100 people, near St. Louis Lambert International Airport, has hired St. Louis attorney Paul Martin, at a fee of $250 per hour, to prosecute the case against Stewart, a job that includes presenting evidence to support the charges against the mayor.

Three of the four council members must vote to remove Stewart before he loses his job as mayor, a part-time position that pays $300 per month. Stewart, who is responsible for his own legal counsel, may appeal the impeachment and removal vote to a St. Louis County judge.

Stewart, 32, did not return calls seeking comment. His clashes with the city council were the subject of a Riverfront Times cover story.

In the fall of 2021, Stewart won national attention when he proposed giving every Cool Valley resident $1,000 worth of bitcoin, the cryptocurrency, as a way to build up private wealth. At the time, each bitcoin was worth $60,000. Now the value of an individual bitcoin has fallen to less than $17,000.

Stewart never revealed where the money for the bitcoin give-away program would come from, other than to say the source would be a wealthy benefactor.

The council approved 13 individual charges against Stewart during a December 21 meeting. The charges center on Stewart’s refusal to obey council directives. Stewart allegedly:

  • Failed to take action to ensure the city prepared an annual budget for fiscal year 2023, file an annual financial report or provide for an annual audit as required by law

  • Refused to return a city-owned 2104 Dodge Charger and gas card after being directed to do so repeatedly by the council.

  • Ignored multiple council requests to order then-Cool Valley City Clerk Cheryl Wallace to provide financial records to the council to assess the city's financial status and its compliance with Missouri law. These requests included bank statements, documentation of employee work hours, documents showing the city account balances for 2022, copies of all checks paid during that time and specific documentation related to $230,000 in federal COVID-relief funds.

  • Refused to order Wallace, who quit her job in November, to comply with these council directives, and further failed to discipline the clerk for her insubordination.

Stewart is a graduate of the prestigious John Burroughs School in Ladue. He won the Cool Valley mayorship in April 2020 in a landslide. His LinkedIn profile states that he ran a successful recording studio and then a St. Louis-based company called PL28, which aimed to clean plastic trash from the ocean. It remains unclear if PL28 had any employees or made any money.

Coming soon: Riverfront Times Daily newsletter. We’ll send you a handful of interesting St. Louis stories every morning. Subscribe now to not miss a thing.

Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
Scroll to read more St. Louis Metro News articles (1)


Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.