Sam Page criticized at St. Louis County Council over job offer to candidate

Sam Page criticized at St. Louis County Council over job offer to candidate

CLAYTON — St. Louis County Executive Sam Page on Tuesday resisted some pointed remarks from county council members over a state lawmaker’s assertion that Page allegedly offered a job in the hopes that she would drop out of a council race.

“The sleazy factor made me feel like I needed to take a shower,” said Councilman Dennis Hancock, R-5th District. “If it’s not a crime, then it should be.”

The exchange at Tuesday’s council meeting was prompted by a recent article in the Post-Dispatch.

State Rep. Gretchen Bangert, D-Florissant, told the newspaper that Page spoke to her three times about jobs she could take in his administration if she refrained from running in the Democratic primary on June 6. August against former Creve Coeur Council member Nicole Greer. .

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Bangert declined the offer each time and remains in the race.

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“I came here today to see what’s in the plan. I don’t keep it in my office,” said St. Louis County Council Member Dennis Hancock, right. He spoke to the media on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, with colleague Mark Harder, as they denounced County Executive Sam Page’s proposal to replace the Lawrence K. Roos Government Building.

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In his criticism Tuesday, Hancock said the county’s budget shortages and “already limited resources are not a problem if he finds the right person on the board.”

Or “maybe it’s the job creation program that (Page) talked about earlier in the year,” Hancock said.

Bangert said the first offer she received from Page came in November at his Clayton office, at which time he mentioned a job in the auditor’s office.

The two men met again in December, when Bangert said Page repeated his offer of employment, this time to either the auditor or the recorder of deeds.

Bangert said she had turned down county employment twice and considered the matter moot — until Page called her on May 11 for a third discussion.

She said this third attempt made her “uncomfortable,” so she recorded the conversation.

Rep. Gretchen Bangert, D-Florissant, recorded this conversation on Saturday, May 11, 2024 with St. Louis County Executive Sam Page.

During the call, Page frames his efforts as a form of party unity — eliminating the need for Bangert and Greer to oppose each other in the Democratic primary.

He continues by telling Bangert “There are many opportunities in county government for talented people” and goes on to say, “You could do a lot for us by taking a senior position in county government.”

Page told Bangert that he also had similar conversations with Greer.

Greer declined multiple opportunities to comment.

The race in the 2nd District, which covers northwest St. Louis County, is particularly crucial for Page. Outgoing council member Kelli Dunaway, along with fellow Democrat Lisa Clancy, have been Page’s two strongest supporters on the council.

Councilman Mark Harder, D-7th District, also took aim at Page on Tuesday. “Last time I checked the county charter, the auditor is governed by this board,” he said.

After the meeting, Page told a reporter that he simply wanted to avoid a primary fight between Democrats.

“There are no job offers,” he said. “We are going to have elections.”

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page is heard in this recorded phone call with Rep. Gretchen Bangert; she recorded the call on May 11. Video and audio edited by Beth O’Malley

Beth O’Malley