Former Brentwood official admits stealing $30,000 for gambling
BY ROBERT PATRICK AND PAUL HAMPEL
BRENTWOOD • Former Brentwood city administrator Christopher A. Seemayer admitted Wednesday in federal court that he embezzled almost $30,000 from the municipality since Jan. 1, 2010, and gambled it away.
Officials discovered the theft after Brentwood's credit union called to ask why cash advances were being made on a city credit card at the Casino Queen.
Seemayer tried to pay the money back, lawyers said, by sending personal checks to cover the losses.
Mayor Pat Kelly said he met with Seemayer on the day he learned about the missing money. "He said he was sorry, and that was the only comment he made to me," Kelly said. The mayor placed Seemayer on administrative leave, and the accused official quit two days later, on March 11.
Defense lawyers Ron Jenkins and Michael McAvoy said their client will repay all the money on the day he is sentenced, Sept. 14.
Under federal guidelines, Seemayer faces six months to a year in prison for the two charges of federal program fraud. In 2010, at least some of the money Seemayer took came from a FEMA grant, and in 2011, the money came from grants from the Department of Justice and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In court in St. Louis, Seemayer told U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry that he had been treated for a gambling addiction.
Seemayer, 52, of Fenton, had been Brentwood's city administrator since 1992. Prior to that, he worked as Fenton's administrative assistant.
"When I first found out about it, I was kind of shaking," the mayor said. "Chris was the chief financial officer of the city, and a lot of people had faith in his experience and trusted him."
Kelly said Brentwood is working to improve its internal procedures to prevent theft.
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