CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) – With the FBI investigating a subcontract of his police board, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley may suffer political fallout in his upcoming race for reelection.
Dooley’s next primary on the road to reelection is August of next year. While a year sounds like a long time, University of Missouri-St. Louis political science professor Dave Robertson says this scandal could have a long reach with voters.
“The words ‘FBI investigation’ will stick in their memory. It’s a real problem for anybody who’s on the wrong end of an FBI investigation,” he says. “It has all the earmarks of a problem that won’t go away for a long time and could encourage challengers to jump into the race.”
Robertson says Dooley could face a challenger in the Democratic primary, County Councilman Steve Stenger. Republican Bill Corrigan is also exploring the possibility of running.
Corrigan, a lawyer, lost to Dooley in 2010.
“[Dooley] is going to have to get through both a Democratic primary and general election so he’s going to need to face lots and lots of criticism from both his own party and from the opposing party,” Roberson added.
Dooley said last week that he supports a federal investigation into a $3.75 million contract awarded to a company co-owned by Police Board Chairman Gregory Sansone. Dooley recently appointed Sansone as chairman in a move that many considered a step toward ousting Police Chief Tim Fitch.
On Friday, Fitch warned Dooley about possible witness tampering after a member of Dooley’s administration spoke with a lieutenant colonel about the investigation.