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.
More questions are being raised over contracts for the new St. Louis County Police Crime Lab.
At Tuesday night's St. Louis County Council meeting, Councilman Gregg Quinn (R-Ballwin) called for an inquiry into the $3.75 million contract awarded to a company co-owned by Police Board Chairman Gregory Sansone. SM Mechanical, LLC was hired by the general contractor to install the ventilation system at the new crime lab.
Last week, County Police Chief Tim Fitch asked the FBI to investigate the deal. Fitch had questioned the subcontracting process earlier this year, but County counsel Patricia Redington ruled that the situation didn't violate the conflict of interest provisions in the county charter.
Quinn says the County Charter specifically prohibits appointed officials from benefiting financially from such contracts.
County Executive Charlie Dooley responded to the concerns by proposing legislation Tuesday night that would modify county ordinances to hold subcontractors to the same ethical standards as contractors.
Dooley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he's disappointed that Chief Fitch went to the FBI instead of coming to him with his concerns.