". . . avoid making people feel like they are in a cattle chute where the only purpose is to fill the government coffers. I refuse to run a court as if it were a cash register." Former Judge and Candidate Mike Carter
Wentzville Missouri, December 16, 2014
After campaigning successfully for the November referendum to ban red light cameras in St. Charles County, former municipal judge Michael Carter has filed to run for judge in the City of Wentzville. Carter helped lobby for the countywide ban on the use of red light cameras which passed with over 70% of the vote. While serving as judge in Wentzville previously, Carter became an outspoken opponent of municipal courts that emphasize revenue over justice.
State Representative Bryan Spencer, R-District 63, worked with Carter to ban red light cameras in St. Charles County and is working with him on a proposed statewide ban. Spencer said he is, "very hopeful Carter will bring his common sense approach to Wentzville. He is right in step with State Senator Eric Schmitt concerning municipal court revenue. In fact, Carter was bringing up the issue of justice versus revenue generating years ago."
|Judge Carter Weds A Couple|
"I'm running to make sure the Wentzville municipal court is run in the most professional, fair, and impartial manner," explained Carter, adding, "It is essential that those accused are given an opportunity to be heard, for the facts of each case to be weighed, and for those found guilty to be punished in a way that changes their behavior in the future so that our community and families remain safe."
When Carter previously held the municipal judgeship in Wentzville in 2010, then Mayor Paul Lambi publicly decried Judge Carter's approach to assessing defendants' fines, accusing him of playing "Let's Make A Deal" on court fines. Carter emphatically defended his actions and accused city officials of being more interested in revenue than justice. He vows to continue his justice-centered approach if reelected.
"I'll see that our municipal court is run efficiently and with decorum, to avoid making people feel like they are in a cattle chute where the only purpose is to fill the government coffers. I refuse to run a court as if it were a cash register. The current judge is known to take pride in the amount of revenue he has raised for the city. That, simply put, is a huge problem for the citizens of Wentzville."
Current Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione approves of Carter's goals and agrees that fining citizens is not the way to raise revenue for a city. "Wentzville is a great place to live and we want to keep it that way. The goal of the court should be to help keep the citizens safe, not to drain their pocketbooks. Carter will help us reach that goal."
Besides his public service as municipal judge in Wentzville, Michael Carter runs his own successful law firm, Carter Law Offices, LLC, focusing on real estate, small business, criminal and traffic law. His previous employment experience includes the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals, Missouri Attorney General's Office, the United States Senate, and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.
Michael Carter is a husband and father. Carter is also a Director at the St. Louis Board of Realtors. He holds an Undergraduate Degree from UMSL, a Masters in Journalism from University of Missouri at Columbia (Mizzou), and a Law Degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia (Mizzou). Carter worked his way through college waiting tables and driving for UPS.