Jane Dueker Totally Took Money From the Payday Loan Industry. She Just Forgot


  • Photo by Danny Wicentowski
  • Jane Dueker.

Over the summer, Jane Dueker called a candidate for Missouri attorney general "a dispshit" because he apparently didn't know that his name was on a U.S. Supreme Court brief. And she's probably regretting her wording, because it turns out she's guilty of a similar sin — and now the dipshit-shoe is on the other foot.

A well-known lobbyist and attorney in St. Louis, Dueker has spent the past few weeks rebuffing accusations that she is fronting for the payday-loan industry. The claims revolve around Dueker's decision to file an ethics complaint against St. Louis Alderwoman Cara Spencer, who both has a day job battling predatory lenders and is backing two board bills that would crack down on their practices. (After a review, the Missouri Ethics Commission dismissed the complaint earlier this month.) 

Over and over and over again, Dueker insisted that she wasn't in the pocket of Big Payday. In fact, she claimed, she had never taken money from the industry — not a dime

Whoops! It turns out Dueker forgot that she's not only taken money from the industry as an attorney, but it was for a case that went all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court. 

That important little detail was uncovered by St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger, whose column opens by describing the legal battle between Title Lenders Inc. (also known as Missouri Payday Loans) and a woman who had borrowed money under a contract that a local judge later blasted as "unconscionable." Title Lenders Inc. took the case to the state's highest court in 2012, where it ultimately won. 

Dueker was part of the legal team that repped Title Lenders Inc.

“I totally forgot about that,” Dueker admitted to Messenger. She clarified that she isn't currently taking any money from predatory lenders. She only used to do so.

In Messenger's column, Dueker also acknowledged that she'd discussed the ethics complaint against Spencer with Lou Hamilton. Hamilton is currently employed as a lobbyist for a consortium of payday lenders — a group that includes Title Lenders Inc. However, Dueker said that Hamilton "didn't have anything to do with" the complaint itself.

On Tuesday, amid the blowback to Messenger's column, Dueker defended herself on Twitter by noting that her work on the 2012 Title Lenders Inc. case was limited since she was only a minor member of the legal team. 

Right? Who can even remember big legal victories that happened four or five years ago? You don't have to be a dipshit to forget little stuff like that.

And hey, it's not like Dueker was involved in winning a different Missouri Supreme Court case in 2012, and that she clearly wanted everyone to know how great it felt at the time...

Oh. Well, then. Perhaps the lesson here is that some Supreme Court wins — like ones that defend a morally-odious industry that preys on poor people — aren't so rewarding after all. 

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com 

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