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Ethics Questions at Metro

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Metro President Larry Salci is standing by a recent memo accusing a transit agency board member of unethical behavior.

Betty Van Uum is an assistant to the University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor, and sits on Metro's board.

Salci maintains she used her board position to seek favors for UMSL, including a ride-free zone for the campus, reduced fares for students and a parking garage upgrade.

"My memo stands by itself," Salci said. "I wrote the commissioner a memo and said I thought she had some conflicts with the board's policy. She obviously has a different opinion, but I followed the board's policy, wrote a letter to her and sent a copy to the chairman. So the memo speaks for itself."

But Friday Van Uum showed reporters a letter from Metro Board Chairman Michael Fausz that says Salci's allegations do not warrant an investigation.

"Upon receipt of his complaint in January, I reviewed the matter with my personal attorney, with the general counsel of Bi-State, with the County Executive's attorney, and all of them said that they thought that he was incorrect and there was nothing wrong with the way I was conducting myself," Van Uum said.

Recently Metro board members Thomas Hennessy and the Reverend B.T. Rice resigned over conflict-of-interest allegations.