Sunset Hills Alderman Has Business Connection to Petro Mart Developers

Do you think Ward I Alderman Richard Gau recuse himself from future Petro Mart votes?

A Sunset Hills alderman has business ties to a company currently working to construct a new gas station and convenience store south of Interstate 44, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

In early December the Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen approved a conditional use permit and preliminary plan for Land West 7 to construct a 24-hour Petro Mart on the former Bob Evans property on Lindbergh Boulevard. Sunset Hills Mayor Bill Nolan broke the votes to allow Petro Mart to proceed with the project. Ward I Alderman Richard Gau voted in favor of Land West 7.

Gau recently confirmed to Post-Dispatch that his company, John Henry Foster, does approximately $8,000 in annual business with Western Oil, a company connected to Land West 7. 

Ward I resident Kathy Tripp revealed the potential conflict of interest to local media following a meeting with Gau at City Hall, which Post-Dispatch said was recorded by Tripp.

"On the recording, Gau says a Western Oil official tied the future of the firm’s relationship with John Henry Foster to Gau’s support of the PetroMart project," Post-Dispatch reported.

Read the full story, including statements from Gau, on St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Read comments from Sunset Hills Mayor Bill Nolan on South County Times.

Tripp said at previous Sunset Hills aldermanic meetings she felt that the concerns of herself and her neighbors were not being addressed in regards to the Petro Mart project.


Related articles:

  • Sunset Hills Board Gives Green Light to Petro Mart--Minus the Traffic Signal
  • Resident in Favor of Sunset Hills Petro Mart: 'Anything Is Better Than a Vacant Building'
  • Resident Petition Opposes Petro Mart on Lindbergh Boulveard
  • Sunset Hills Planning Commission Recommends Petro Mart Changes Despite Concerns of Neighboring Businesses
John Dough January 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM
Perhaps Mr Gau perhaps should buy his Gas , coffee and danish from 711 in future..to eliminate any conflicts
Mike January 28, 2013 at 04:26 PM
While this is all exciting, it's all for not if he didn't do anything wrong legally (as defined by State statute and Sunset ordinances). Seems like its more personal vendettas than anything else.
Rayborn Mann January 28, 2013 at 09:29 PM
No one running this story is stating the obvious: 1. When questioned, Mr. Gau was completely transparent. He answered the two “activists” (actively looking for corruption in their own city) fully and completely. If he was trying to hide something illegal, would he have shared the information with these two? If he’s smart enough to run his own company, would he fall prey to such shenanigans, really? 2. Did anyone pay attention to the gentleman who called the meeting? It was former alderman, Frank Hardy. This is the same gentleman who lost handily to Rich Gau in the last election. Isn’t this the same duo that is known throughout the city of Sunset Hills for their “sour grapes”? Move on and find a real job (or jobs), really? 3. The person secretly recording him, who holds herself as a journalist, also apparently likes to hold herself out as a lawyer. The amount going to Rich Gau would be far less than the $5,000 requirement, really?
Michael Hunt January 29, 2013 at 03:10 AM
How about this? According to the Post article, alderman Gau spoke with the Mayor and other aldermen about his potential conflicts of interest BEFORE any vote was taken. which indicates there was concern. The Mayor should have talked to the City Attorney- that's what they pay the City Attorney to do- advise them. I don't understand why some folks think it's perfectly fine for this alderman to violate the law "a little bit"... but discredit a person who does not break the law at all. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to look up the state laws and the city ordinances and people don't have to be a lawyer to read them. I happen to see journalists recording stuff all the time. It seems like a great way to be accurate. If Gau broke the law and the Mayor told him it was no big deal- they're both complicit and voters should hold them accountable.
Thomas M. January 31, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Good for Mr. Gau to tell the truth when confronted with the question. I guess the reason for the secret recording was to catch him lying, and that plan clearly backfired.


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