Nearly two years ago, Michael Brown’s death brought to light abusive municipal court practices in the St. Louis area. A new report released by auditor Nicole Galloway this week shows the problems exist statewide.
The report is a compilation of the five most common and concerning findings from a series of audits Galloway did of 18 municipal courts across the state. She identified five widespread issues:
- Missing funds
- Accounting controls and procedures
- Municipal division record-keeping procedures
- Inadequate documentation of vehicle stop data
- Funds owed for excess revenue from traffic violations
John Ammann, the head of the civil litigation clinic at Saint Louis University School of Law and a fierce critic of municipal courts, called Galloway’s findings unsurprising but disturbing. He said the fact that problems are so widespread may make reforms easier.