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   The fate of former St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley, Jr. will be in the hands of a three member state disciplinary panel.  The Missouri office that oversees lawyers has refused a plea agreement regarding Bosley's mishandling of client funds.  
   The former mayor admitted in court last month to charges that he failed to keep adequate records, combined personal and client funds and even used client funds to pay personal expenses.  
   Alan Pratzel of the Missouri Supreme Court's Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that documents Bosley filed to clear up a settlement dispute were "insufficient."  So today, Bosley and state prosecutors must submit punishment recommendations to the panel which will decide his fate.
   Punishment can range from a reprimand up to disbarment.
   Bosley served one term as mayor of St. Louis in the mid 1990s.
 
Published in Local News

   JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court on Wednesday found former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman innocent of all charges in a graft trial, clearing the way for the powerful hard-line politician to return to his post as the nation's top diplomat.

   The trial had threatened to reshape the makeup of the government. But in the end, Lieberman was handed a resounding victory that instantly raises his clout in a bitterly divided coalition.

   The verdict was delivered inside a closed courtroom, and minutes later, a jubilant Lieberman appeared outside.

   "This chapter is behind me. And I am focusing on the challenges ahead, and there are plenty of challenges," he said, claiming he had been persecuted by overzealous prosecutors for 17 years.

   Lieberman, an ally and sometime rival to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has long been dogged by allegations of corruption. This case was the first time he had been accused of criminal behavior.

   Lieberman was charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly trying to advance the career of a former diplomat who relayed information to him about a separate criminal investigation into Lieberman's business dealings.

   Prosecutors said they respected the court's decision and would study it before deciding whether to appeal.

   Lieberman was forced to step down as foreign minister before parliamentary elections early this year to face the charges.

   Speaking to reporters after Wednesday's verdict, Lieberman refused to say whether he would return to the post.

   But he is widely expected to do so. Since the January election, Netanyahu has left the job open, saying he would only fill it after the verdict in Lieberman's case.

  Lieberman, who was born in the former Soviet republic of Moldova, is one of the most polarizing figures in Israeli politics. With a tough-talking message that has questioned the loyalty of Israel's Arab minority, criticized the Palestinians and confronted Israel's foreign critics, he has at times alienated Israel's allies while becoming an influential voice at home.

   During his stint as foreign minister, he pushed a series of legislative proposals that critics said were discriminatory against Israel's Arab minority, including a failed attempt to require Israelis to sign a loyalty oath or have their citizenship revoked. He also embarrassed Netanyahu by expressing contrary views to the government, including skepticism over the odds of reaching peace with the Palestinians.

   Before the January election, Lieberman led his nationalist Yisrael Beitenu into a merger with Netanyahu's Likud Party. But the alliance, meant to solidify a victory by Israel's hardline bloc, backfired and the combined list fared poorly.

   Lieberman is considering whether to break up the alliance. Such a move could increase his influence since he could potentially rob Netanyahu of his parliamentary majority.

Published in National News

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A former suburban St. Louis police officer faces sentencing Dec. 20 after being convicted of corruption for telling a female motorist she could either have sex with him or face a drunk-driving arrest.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 50-year-old Timothy H. Jones of Troy, Mo., was found guilty Friday in St. Louis County Circuit Court. Prosecutors are seeking a four-year prison sentence.

Jones was an officer in Country Club Hills. Court documents show that he pulled over a 24-year-old woman on suspicion of drunken driving on Interstate 70 in 2010.

After a field-sobriety test, he allegedly told her she could either be arrested or have sex with him. Court documents say he drove her in his patrol car to her home, where they had sex.

 

Published in Local News

   Another metro-east official is in trouble with the law.  Alorton Fire Chief Carlos Darough is facing drug charges and a federal parole violation.  KMOV TV reports that Darough was pulled over for running a stop sign.  

   Officers reportedly found marijuana in his car.  He's been charged with possession with the intent to deliver drugs and violating his parole.

   Court records show Darough has been arrested multiple times over the last 20 years on charges ranging from speeding to domestic battery.

Published in Local News
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 16:09

Financial firm fined 200K over free tickets

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Chesterfield-based financial services firm has been fined $200,000 by securities regulators for giving away thousands of free sports tickets to school board members, superintendents and other government officials.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that municipal bond underwriter L.J. Hart & Company was fined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for violating so-called "pay for play" rules designed to keep corruption out of the municipal bond business.

The company and the independent regulator declined to identify the ticket recipients.  The company's past clients include the Normandy, Lincoln County, Winfield, Warren County, Grandview, Windsor, Hillsboro and Festus school districts.

School officials received tickets to St. Louis Cardinals, Rams and Blues games, as well as pro contests in Kansas City.

Published in Local News
Saturday, 10 August 2013 08:02

Sentencing delaying in corruption trial

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge has again delayed the sentencing of a former Madison County treasurer to allow him to continue cooperating with a federal corruption investigation.

U.S. District Judge David Herndon on Friday delayed Fred Bathon's sentencing from August 30th until December 6th. Earlier this year the judge delayed Bathon's sentencing from May until August.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports Bathon's attorney filed a motion requesting the delay. Prosecutors didn't object.

Bathon pleaded guilty in February to rigging 2005-2008 tax lien auctions so that his political donors profited from inflated penalties paid by property owners.

Bathon could receive a prison sentence of between 31 and 40 months, though his sentence could be reduced because of his cooperation with investigators.

Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Lawyers for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have appealed his corruption convictions and 14-year sentence.

   Monday's filing with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago comes more than two years after the Chicago Democrat's retrial and 16 months after he entered a Colorado prison.

   Jurors convicted the 56 year old for wide-ranging corruption, including his bid to profit from his power to appoint someone to the state senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president.

 

   His lawyers filed the appeal less than an hour before a midnight deadline to do so.

 

   In June, defense attorneys citing the complicated issues involved received permission to file a longer-than-usual appeal.

 
Published in Local News

   Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says his audit of Brentwood city government revealed sloppy accounting and a lack of documentation at city hall.  Schweich says those factors were behind his rating the St. louis County suburb as "poor."

   The audit came about because of a citizen petition drive that began in 2011. Residents became concerned about the city's finances after former city administrator Chris Seemayer pleaded guilty to stealing $30,000 but continued to collect city benefits.

Published in Around Town

   Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says his audit of Brentwood city government revealed sloppy accounting and a lack of documentation at city hall.  Schweich says those factors were behind his rating the St. louis County suburb as "poor."

   The audit came about because of a citizen petition drive that began in 2011. Residents became concerned about the city's finances after former city administrator Chris Seemayer pleaded guilty to stealing $30,000 but continued to collect city benefits.

Published in Local News
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