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Proposed city ethics commission could see its duties expand

St. Louis Alderwoman Donna Baringer, D-16th Ward, is considered an ally of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. But she says voters should have a say in whether to extend bonds for the new stadium.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio | File photo
St. Louis Alderwoman Donna Baringer, D-16th Ward, wants to expand the duties of a proposed ethics commission.

A commission that would accept ethics complaints against elected officials in the city of St. Louis could have its duties expanded.

The commission is part of Alderman Scott Ogilvie's, D-24th Ward, measure capping campaign contributions $10,000 for both citywide and aldermanic races. As the bill is currently written, members of the panel would investigate complaints about financial disclosure or conflicts of interest.

But Alderman Donna Baringer, D-16th Ward and the chairman of the committee hearing the legislation, said the commission could also help educate her colleagues about existing ethics rules.

"If we're going to have a commission that's going to look into campaign finance, let's also make sure that the commission looks into every aspect," she said.

As Jason Rosenbaum outlined in a recent "On the Trail," this is Ogilvie’s second attempt to limit donations. A 2013 measure never got out of committee. This proposal will at least get a second hearing.

"We will back for this bill, but I want to meet regarding setting up a committee that would look at all aspects of what we should be looking at," Baringer said.

Ogilvie said he is open to the changes Baringer is proposing.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.