Lawsuit Accuses Tracy Mayor of Nepotism

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Gavel, File photo

TRACY, Mo. — The Platte County Prosecutors Office has filed a lawsuit alleging nepotism against the mayor of Tracy, Missouri, claiming that she illegally hired her son-in-law.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd filed the lawsuit, known as a quo warranto, againt Tracy Mayor Rita Rhoads on Monday. The suit alleged that Rhoads violated the Missouri Constitution’s prohibition against nepotism when she hired her son-in-law to fix a damaged city sign. The suit also alleges that she hired the man to repair other city property.

According to court documents, Rhoads most recently employed her son-in-law, Matthew Spores, to repair a city sign damaged by a drunk driver in June.

The original check to pay Spores was written to MDS Construction.  From 2003 to 2005, Spores was connected to a business named MDS Home Improvement, Inc.

When Spores was unable to deposit the check because he no longer had a business account with the MDS name, Rhoads wrote a check to Spores on the City account, prosecutors said on Monday.

According to prosecutors, Rhoads allegedly said, “I don’t care. They need the money,” when she was told by a city employee that she couldn’t hire Spores due to the nepotism ban.

The lawsuit against Rhoads is a civil, not criminal case. Prosecutors are seeking Rhoads’ removal from office.

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