Cape businessman to run Ste. Genevieve license office

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A Cape Girardeau businessman has been selected to run the state drivers' and motor vehicle licensing office in Ste. Genevieve.

Gov. Matt Blunt last week awarded the Ste. Genevieve contract to Robin Cole, who owns Copi-Rite, a company that provides a variety of computer and communications services. License office contracts are a remnant of the political patronage system and generally go to the governor's political supporters.

Such contracts typically are given to a resident of the county in which the office is located. However, that isn't a legal requirement.

"Our decisions were made on who would provide the best service, not place of residence," said Spence Jackson, Blunt's spokesman.

Cole expanded his business into Ste. Genevieve County a year ago. He said he has assured local government officials he has no intention of taking the proceeds from the Ste. Genevieve license office out of the local economy.

"The vast bulk of the revenue will go to wages and rent and stay right there," Cole said. "I'm looking to staff the office with a local team."

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, in the 2004 fiscal year the Ste. Genevieve office grossed $135,582 in transaction fees before operating expenses.

Blunt also awarded the Caruthersville license office contract to Becky Cole, who is the wife of one of Robin Cole's cousins.

mpowers@semissourian.com

(573) 635-4608

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