St. Louis attorney Jonathan Marks argued in court this week on behalf of St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas that there is no conflict of interest between his work as an attorney for school districts and as a councilman. According to the county charter, no council member can hold any other office or employment under the United States, the state of Missouri or any political subdivision, which would include school districts.
“Our argument is that he’s just an independent contractor,’’ Marks said in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio. “He’s not deemed an employee for that purpose of the school district. And, as a result of it, he had no conflict of interest, either, both as an attorney and completing the work for his role as a council member for the St. Louis County Council.”
Although Trakas contends that the charter is correct, the work he did was not with school districts within the county.
St. Charles Circuit Judge Dan Pelikan is overseeing the case and has given Tim Lohmar, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, and Trakas a deadline to submit proposed orders on which he will rule in the near future.
Additional media covering case:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – No quick decision on effort to have St. Louis County council member removed from office