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Dardenne Prairie appoints new city attorney

The city of Dardenne Prairie has a new prosecuting attorney for its municipal court thanks to some changes in state law and a Missouri Supreme Court ruling.

Jeff Sandcork

Jeff Sandcork, with the Sandcork Law Firm, was named the city’s new prosecuting attorney, effective March 1. The city interviewed five attorneys and the city’s Board of Aldermen authorized Sandcork’s appointment at its Feb. 15 meeting.

Mayor David Zucker said the change was necessitated by the passage of Missouri Senate Bill 5 last year and Missouri Supreme Court Rule 37 that requires a complete segregation of the municipal courts from the prosecutor’s office.

To comply, the city has taken several steps, including moving the prosecutor and police to a separate office away from the municipal court administrator’s office. Another step is to remove the city’s law firm, Hamilton Weber LLD, from handling prosecutions.

Two of the firm’s attorneys, David Hamilton and John Young, previously provided prosecution services as well as legal counsel to the city.  The firm will continue to provide legal counsel, with Sandcork handling prosecutions of violations of city ordinances and traffic violations in the city’s municipal courts.

Zucker said the city’s municipal court docket is now online via the city’s website [www.dardenneprairie.org], so residents can access information and pay fines online.

The city prosecutor is considered a part-time position. The prosecutor is required to come to city hall twice a week to sign tickets and process dispositions from defendants. He also is to appear once a month in municipal court. This amounts to about 120 hours a year.

The prosecutor’s salary is $13,200 per year and well within the amount the city budgeted for municipal court, Zucker said. An hourly rate of $200 would apply for extra work, such as jury trials.

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