Prosecutor said in January Trakas violated Charter

Ernie+Trakas+talks+at+the+Concord-Lemay%2FGravois%2FJefferson+Republican+Club+meeting.+Photo+by+Jessica+Belle+Kramer.

Ernie Trakas talks at the Concord-Lemay/Gravois/Jefferson Republican Club meeting. Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer.

St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar sent a letter Jan. 18 to 6th District Councilman Ernie Trakas, R-Oakville, that was headlined “Matter of Potential Vacancy in the Office of St. Louis County Council District 6.”

That was just weeks after Lohmar was appointed special prosecutor after St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch recused himself from the case.

Lohmar wrote in the letter, “This office has researched and investigated what we believe is all the relevant evidence, and we have conducted a thorough review of the applicable Charter provisions and case law…”

After studying case law, Lohmar said he believed that Trakas’ work for public school districts counts as employment: “The case law in our opinion was clear – employment includes contract work by attorneys.”

The letter to Trakas said he “forfeited the privilege of holding elected office with the St. Louis County Council District 6.”

Lohmar invited Trakas to respond with counter-arguments through his attorney, Jonathan Marks, or voluntarily resign.

The prosecutor didn’t release his final quo warranto petition until April. In the intervening months, Lohmar said that he and Marks were “just trying to talk through it – I offered him the opportunity to give me his view of the case law and his view of where it was dispositive…

“At the end of the day, we both realized that we were coming at it from different perspectives.”