Recorder Carpenter Fails To Respond to Sunshine Request

I have been trying to get copies of the mileage logs for St. Louis City Recorder’s City-issued car from January 1, 2011 thru March 31, 2014. I have hand delivered two requests to Recorder Sharon Carpenter’s office, including one a week ago, June 25th.

Comptroller Darlene Green has sent me the mileage reported by Recorder Carpenter for IRS purposes. These records show a great deal more in commuting miles to and from work than what is generally held to have been Carpenter’s infrequent visits to her City Hall office over recent years. My hope is the mileage logs will shed some light on her use of the taxpayer funded car.

Recorder Carpenter agreed to maintain a Vehicle Use Log for the car as a result of the January 2010 Audit by Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee.

The Audit stated:

“The Recorder used a city-owned vehicle for personal use and did not maintain vehicle usage logs to document commuting and personal use of the vehicle. The Recorder reported estimated personal usage of 4,000 miles and commuting usage of 4,844 miles to the City Comptroller’s office for calendar year 2008 and was taxed for this usage. The Recorder does not maintain a vehicle usage log to document miles driven for official, commuting, and personal use. Service department records show the vehicle was driven a total of approximately 13,000 miles during 2008.”

“Without adequate usage logs, the Recorder cannot effectively demonstrate the purpose for which the vehicle is used. Vehicle usage logs should include trip information (i.e., beginning and ending odometer readings, destination, and purpose).”

“WE RECOMMEND the Recorder of Deeds prepare a vehicle usage log to ensure personal and commuting mileage reported for compensation is adequately supported.”

According to the Audit, Recorder Carpenter responded in the affirmative.

“The Recorder provided the following written response:
The Recorder has implemented this recommendation.”

This is not the first time, Recorder Carpenter has not responded in a timely manner to a Chapter 610, Revised Statutes of Missouri request for public records. She took a month to respond to my request for copies of records relating the Recorder’s Technology and Preservation Fund.

It is disturbing that a public records office has such a hard time providing public records on its finances.

Edward McFowland 314-600-1261
Democratic Candidate for Recorder of Deeds

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