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There's an ill wind blowing at the new St. Louis County Police crime lab. Literally.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch says the new ventilation system is delivering "hurricane-like" gales and persistent dripping water that could contaminate evidence in criminal cases. Fitch tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that that hasn't happened yet, but the potential is there.
This is the second controversy for ventilation system. It was installed by SM Mechanical, a company owned by former police board chairman Gregory Sansone. The $3.7 million sub-contract led to an FBI investigation and Sansone's resignation from the board.
Public works officials and the contractor both say bugs like this are normal with new construction. The repairs are covered under warrantee.
Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence is pulling his name from consideration for a seat on the St. Louis County Police Board.
County Executive Charlie Dooley's office released a withdrawal letter from Spence on Tuesday. In it, Spence cited the new screening process enacted by the County Council in the wake of an FBI investigation of former police board chairman Gregory Sansone.
Dooley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Tuesday evening that the newly adopted audit of police board appointees leaves a nominee’s financial record open to scrutiny through Sunshine Laws.
The vacancies on the St. Louis County Police Board will remain unfilled for the time being. The County Council Tuesday night postponed confirmation votes for two of County Executive Charlie Dooley's nominees.
The council had called a special meeting to consider the nominees to replace Gregory Sansone and Floyde Warman, but instead introduced legislation requiring police board members to undergo background checks and then adjourned without a confirmation vote.
Dooley had tapped Republican Dave Spence and Democrat Freddy Clark to fill two seats on the five-member board.
Earlier in the day, police board member Ray Wagoner announced that he too is stepping down. Wagoner cited personal and business obligations. The county executive has not yet named a successor for Wagoner.