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Two police officers assigned to security detail for St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley can no longer access the criminal justice database.
Police Chief Tim Fitch tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that an internal affairs investigation is under way to determine whether the officers' violated any laws when they ran the names of police board candidates, including Dave Spence. Fitch says it was an announcement in October by Dooley chief of staff, Garry Earls, that prompted the investigation. Earls had told the County Council that Spence's criminal background check had come back clean.
A spokeswoman for Dooley told the paper the county executive was unaware of the investigation and had not himself requested any such checks by the officers.
Job growth and regional cooperation appear to be the themes of St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley's re-election campaign.
Dooley was flanked by local Democratic leaders and labor representatives last night when he formally kicked off his bid for a fourth term. Congressman William "Lacy" Clay, County Assessor Jake Zimmerman and former and current St. Louis mayors Vincent Schoemehl and Francis Slay were on hand to show their support for the Dooley candidacy. UAW Local 2250 President Van Simpson told Fox 2 News, "He's good for the region. He's good for the economic growth of the area."
Dooley will face fellow Democrat, County Councilman Steve Stenger in the August primary.
Stenger released the following statement Thursday night:
"I look forward to discussing the issues with Mr. Dooley over the next several months including my plan to restore trust, credibility and a AAA bond rating to St. Louis County."
The County lost it's AAA rating under Dooley's leadership, but the county executive says that was because of a change in the rating system.
Dooley responded to Stenger's statement by saying that no one can hold an elected office for ten years without something going wrong. He told Fox 2 News, "The key to it is, what do you do about it, in fixing it and correcting that problem? I'm telling you we're going to get on it. We're going to fix it, and we're going to move on."
The St. Louis County Council is moving ahead with a bill that would subject County Police Commission nominees to background check. After the measure advanced Tuesday night, it could win final approval as soon as next week.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that council members dispatched County Executive Charlie Dooley's proposal aimed at forcing subcontractors to disclose potential conflicts of interest on county projects without a vote, effectively rejecting the measure.
Both bills grew out of the scandal that unfolded when former police board chairman Gregory Sansone's company was hired to subcontract on construction of a new crime lab. The FBI is currently investigating the matter.
If the background check measure passes, which could happen as soon as next week, it would take affect immediately.
As first In a letter leaked to KTRS News, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is telling County Executive Charlie Dooley to back off his investigation into the contract award process.
In today's letter, Fitch accuses county COO Gatry Earles of requesting information from the police that had been shared with the FBI. Fitch says this request for confidential information is "at the very least unethical and unprofessional". Fitch ends the letter by asking Dooley to instruct his staff to not have contact with employees regarding this matter.
The issue came to light after the Post-Dispatch revealed that one of Dooley's political appointees, Gregory Sansone, created a company that won the lucrative contract shortly after his appointment. Chief Fitch contacted the FBI to investigate the matter. Dooley was frustrated that Fitch involved the FBI in the matter before giving his office a chance to investigate.