Trakas sexual harassment probe ongoing

Pictured above: Council Presiding Officer Ernie Trakas questions Stinson attorney Andrew Scavotto during the Ethics Committee meeting July 24, 2018. Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer.

By Gloria Lloyd
News Editor
glorialloyd@callnewspapers.com

A law firm is still conducting a sexual harassment investigation into St. Louis County Council Presiding Officer Ernie Trakas, R-Oakville, but he said he’s confident he will be exonerated.

County Counselor Beth Orwick declined to confirm whether the inquiry was ongoing, or even whether it existed.

Trakas himself told the media in August that his legislative assistant Annette Read filed a sexual harassment complaint against him after he tried to fire her.

And Trakas told The Call that the independent investigation is ongoing, although he expects it to wrap up soon.

He said he was interviewed by the law firm as part of the probe.

“I fully expect that when they’re done they’ll find no corroborating or substantiating evidence to support the allegation, I believed that in the beginning and I believe it now,” Trakas said. “I’m not worried in the slightest.”

The councilman added, “I’m pretty confident they talked to whoever they wanted to talk to,” although he didn’t know how many people that might be. He said he didn’t have “inside information” on the investigation.

But he said he requested that he be interviewed. He believes when the report is wrapped up, it will likely be turned into the county executive’s office since that is who requested the inquiry through the county’s human resources.

The county did not yet respond to The Call’s request whether Read is still employed by the county.