St. Louis County Auditor Allegedly Tried to Give Herself a Raise

Councilman Ernie Trakas accuses Auditor Toni Jackson of malfeasance

Jul 26, 2022 at 3:55 pm
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The St. Louis County Government Center in Clayton.
St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas (R-Mehlville) is making serious allegations about St. Louis County Auditor Toni Jackson.

In a letter to Council Chair Rita Heard Days, Trakas accuses Jackson of "unilaterally" increasing her own salary without council permission. He also says she has failed to disclose outside clients, despite his requests.

Jackson did not respond to a voicemail message seeking comment.

Jackson is a certified public accountant as well as an audit and tax adviser. The council appointed her auditor in a 5-0 vote in November, just a few months after firing the previous person to hold the role. At that point, the salary was raised to $120,000, which Trakas says was an increase from $85,000.

In the letter, Trakas begins with concerns that Jackson has not disclosed any outside clients. He continues, "What is most concerning to me now is that County Auditor one morning last week accessed the County’s MUNIS database and unilaterally increased her own salary for the proposed budget outside permitted increases in violation of County ordinance."

The MUNIS system is the county's financial management software. The County Auditor's salary comes out of the County Council's budget.

A source familiar with the situation said that Jackson apparently made the discrete change to her salary in the MUNIS system around 5 a.m. on the day that the County Council was supposed to submit its proposed budget to the County Budget Office.

In his letter, Trakas alleges that Budget Office staff discovered Jackson's "improper action."

In addition to Days, Trakas copied the rest of the County Council on the letter.

Trakas also expressed concern about Jackson's performance in the eight months since she took the job.

"Since being hired, the County Auditor has not conducted, concluded and/or submitted an audit of any kind to the Council," Trakas wrote. "Given how adamant some council members were about the former auditor’s productivity, I would be shocked if the Council is satisfied with the current auditor’s similar level of productivity."

Neither Trakas nor Days returned our messages seeking comment. We will update the story when he hear back.