Dooley issues statement regarding collector of revenue’s resignation

County Executive Charlie Dooley today — Dec. 17 — issued the following statement about the resignation of Stacy L. Bailey, the newly hired collector of revenue:

“I understand that Stacy Bailey has resigned her position as collector of revenue. I wish her the best. Let me be clear, this position is not a political appointment. It’s a civil-service position and there is a process for hiring civil-service employees. I am not involved in that process.

“Ms. Bailey was the unanimous choice of those who served on the selection panel based on her skill level, professional accomplishments and education. When we were first made aware of her bankruptcy, she wasn’t automatically ruled out because there are many, many people who are going through hard times financially but who are still very good at doing their jobs. Bankruptcy doesn’t automatically make you incompetent.

“In terms of her taxes and our failure to catch that, I spoke with the Director of Revenue Eugene Leung and had him explain his process. I am confident that this is not a case of gross incompetence or negligence. It’s an error — a huge, embarrassing error, but an error nonetheless. After Ms. Bailey was identified as the preferred candidate by the panel, the director checked the internal records as he was supposed to. He cleared her for the real-estate taxes. He checked the personal-property taxes and simply made an error in reviewing the correct personal-property tax account.

“It’s an error, but one that erodes public trust and confidence in county government, and that is unacceptable to me. There are many talented, competent and hard working people in St. Louis County government. However, when one of us makes a mistake, all of us wear the jacket.

“The director of revenue is a very good employee who made an honest mistake. We’ve all been there. Our number one priority is to provide excellent service to the citizens of St. Louis County.

“Trust and confidence of the people we serve is paramount and I will hold my staff and my directors accountable when we fall down on that. This is a difficult situation, but I am certain that we will review our process make any necessary adjustments and be stronger for it. And not just in the Department of Revenue but across all departments. Our focus now is on beginning a new process to hire a collector of revenue and we will do that as quickly and as diligently as possible.”