St. Louis Alderman Asks “Friends & Family” to Pay Daughter’s Tuition

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- St. Louis Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr. has sent a letter to "friends and supporters" asking them to help his youngest child pay some of her college tuition fees.

Ald. Bosley said Wednesday the request was not a conflict of interest or a violation of any campaign financing law.  "I don't take anything from anybody, period," he said.  His letter asks that checks be made out to St. Xavier University and sent to a St. Louis address.

His daughter Kenya Young-Bosley was second in her graduating class at St. Elizabeth's Academy and has earned some $25,000 in scholarships and grants toward the nearly $39,000 a  year it costs to attend St. Xavier University in Chicago.

Bosley denied the letter went to campaign donors.  "These are not people that are working in my community. These are not people that I have funded to do a project.  These are not people I've given city money to  to fix a house up or nothing. This is not people that did anything in my ward for me period," he said in a telephone interview.

Lindenwood political science professor Joe Cernik said he thought the letter was odd and inappropriate.  "I don't know what he thinks he's going be getting.  Are people going to give him money and then expect something in return ?  That's certainly what everybody is going to wonder," Cernik said.

Bosley pointed out the letter was not on city stationery or a campaign letter head.

The acting director of the Missouri Ethics Commission Stacey Heislen said Missouri statutes on campaign finance and conflict of interest do not address this kind of a situation.   "It would be a violation for elected officials to vote on a matter that would financially benefit  themselves or their family," she said.

Betsey.Bruce@tvstl.com