Dean Plocher converted an office into a liquor ‘pantry’

State Rep. Mike Stephens held a prime office space on the third floor of the Missouri Capitol before being informed in late 2022 that he would need to move down the hall. House Speaker Dean Plocher converted the space into a makeshift storage room, including a room dubbed his “butler’s pantry.” The renovation costs totaled $60,000, with half earmarked for repairs and the other half for new furnishings. This included items such as a black leather sofa, armchairs, a refrigerator with an ice maker, and a custom cabinet. While Plocher defended the renovation, critics have raised concerns about the high costs and the loss of office space, particularly for offices inaccessible to constituents with disabilities. The House Ethics Committee is also investigating Plocher over allegations of misconduct, including improper reimbursement of travel expenses. The renovation expenses are under scrutiny, especially the cost of furnishings in the speaker’s office and the need for new Technology and furniture. The decision to spend public funds on the bar across the House Lounge from the speaker’s office has also drawn criticism due to the lack of functional space for legislators and staff. Plocher’s office renovation did not come from his legislative expense fund but instead came from House operating funds. The extent of the renovations, including the costs and furnishings, has sparked controversy and is currently being investigated.

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