ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A St. Louis alderman who says someone offered him money to stay neutral in the mayoral race is now downplaying the incident to federal investigators.
The saga began Monday when KMOX revealed alderman Sam Moore claims to have been offered $10,000 to keep quiet in the race between Mayor Francis Slay and challenger Lewis Reed.
“I don’t know if they were Slay’s people but an individual approached me, asking me if I would stay out of the race. They would give me $10,000 if I would just not say anything,” Moore said. “I can’t say if it was the mayor’s people but it was an individual that asked me.”
Moore said in the interview that he made it clear to the unidentified briber that he thought the offer was against the law and quickly said no. “That’s unethical and why would I go to the penitentiary for $10,000?”
The alderman is now making light of those allegations. He said yesterday afternoon that when officials from the U.S. Attorney’s office called to ask him about the $10,000, he told them he didn’t think it was an attempted bribe.
“That’s on them,” Moore told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Monday. ”I didn’t call it a bribe. I didn’t perceive it as a bribe. We were just cordial friends and it came up. I don’t even know if the person was serious.”
Moore continues to refuses to identify who made the alleged offer. Mayor Francis Slay’s campaign is dismissing Moore as a longtime supporter of Slay’s opponent, Lewis Reed. Richard Callow, Slay’s campaign manager, dismissed Moore’s story as “poppycock” and called KMOX News “stupidly careless” for reporting it.