Deaths, kidnapping & riots: State senator calls on MO auditor to investigate St. Louis City Jail
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) -State Senator Steve Roberts tells First Alert 4 Mayor Tishaura Jones’ lack of transparency is the reason why the city jail is going downhill.
On Wednesday, he wrote a letter to Missouri auditor, Scott Fitzpatrick, calling for a full investigation into the Justice Center.
“I don’t see it getting better unless we take action,” says Senator Steve Roberts. “The mayor’s been unable or unwilling to help at all.”
In the letter, Roberts cited a state law as the greenlight for the state to step in. The legislature gives the auditor the ability to review reports of improper government activities allegations and mismanagement.
“The citizens of the City of St. Louis have had enough. Something needs to be done and if there’s fraud, mismanagement, hopefully getting a state agency involved will be able to discover and expose that,” Robert says.
In two years, 9 inmates have died. This year a guard was held hostage after detainees claimed they weren’t receiving enough food. In September, News 4 obtained exclusive video of an oversight board member being dragged inside the lobby and detained.
They wanted to get answers about a recent inmate’s death and ended up with trespassing citation.
“I’ve heard the jail has not been paying its food vendors, so prisoners have literally been surviving off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Roberts says. These 9 deaths are going to cost our tax payers millions of dollars.”
The oversight board’s chair says they’ve recently received a board member’s resignation.
“When you got board members who aren’t supported by the mayor, aren’t supported by the commission and they’re not able to do anything of course they’re going to leave.”
News 4 reached out to the mayor’s officer for a statement.
They replied, “No comment.”
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