CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) – In the midst of a spat between the St. Louis County Chief of Police and the County Executive over an FBI investigation, the County Council adopted a resolution praising Police Chief Tim Fitch at Tuesday night’s meeting.
When the resolution came up for a vote, Council Chair Kathleen Burkett, D-Overland, asked why it was being brought forward.
“First of all, Chief, are your resigning or retiring?” she asked.
When Fitch said he is not, Burkett added, “I just wondered because normally this is when we get those kind of resolutions.”
Burkett said the resolution was probably politically motivated and abstained from voting on it.
Last week, Fitch sent St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley a letter, suggesting Dooley’s administration took part in witness tampering when Chief Operating Officer Garry Earls asked a lieutenant colonel about an upcoming FBI investigation.
Fitch has requested an FBI investigation of a $3.75 million contract awarded to a company co-owned by Police Board Chairman Gregory Sansone.
Despite the investigation, Councilman Greg Quinn, R-Ballwin, says that’s not why his resolution praising Fitch was brought to a vote Tuesday.
“I think what it is is just recognition that Chief Fitch is a dedicated public servant and we support him in his pursuit of enforcement of the laws of St. Louis County,” Quinn said. “I think we just wanted to go ahead and recognize that he’s done a good job and we support him.”
The measure passed with Council members Quinn, Steve Stenger, Pat Dolan, and Colleen Wasinger voting in favor. Councilwomen Burkett and Hazel Erby abstained.
After the meeting, Dooley had little to say about the resolution.
“The timing was unusual and I’m going to take a pass on that,” he said.