Shakeup at County Police Board Amid FBI Probe
CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) – Under the glare of a federal corruption probe targeting his police board, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley announced the resignation of Board of Police Commissioners Chairman Greg Sansone and the nomination of two newcomers to fill vacancies.
When asked his reaction to the resignation of the man he had appointed to run the board, Dooley gave no indication how he feels.
“I’m again, what I’m indicating is he says he’s stepping down and we immediately moved forward to get a replacement,” Dooley said.
KMOX obtained a copy of a federal subpoena demanding the county hand over documents relating to Sansone and a company he co-owns, SM Mechanical. That firm received a $3.75 million subcontract to do ventilation work on the county’s new police crime lab.
Dooley was asked why Sansone quit. The county executive answered by reading from Sansone’s resignation letter.
“As has been reported, the work my company is performing as a subcontractor was the low bid by over $200,000. My involvement in this contract saved the citizens of St. Louis County over $200,000. My company received this award because we were the lowest bidder by far. This contract was independently cleared by the County Counselor’s Office without any request of discussion by me.
“It is my understanding that St. Louis County is pursuing a new ordinance which will treat subcontractors the same as general contractors. As a subcontractor, and in the spirit of this new public policy, I believe that I should no longer serve on the Police Board.”
Sansone’s letter makes no mention of the FBI investigation swirling around him and his subcontract.
Dooley addresses subpoena issues
As part of the subpoena, the county has been directed to turn over all documents relating to federal funding of Sansone’s company from the Minority Business Enterprise program. Dooley was asked what safeguards he had in place to monitor whether police board contracts are obeying federal guidelines for the minority program.
“Again, the Public Works and we have an administration procurement process does that particular situation,” Dooley said. “We have a procurement process and through Public Works.”
When pressed with whether his administration has been doing its due diligence to make sure the Minority Business Enterprise funds were being handled properly, Dooley responded, “We believe so, but if you have a situation, please let us know.”
The situation now is headed toward a federal grand jury scheduled to convene on September 4 to review evidence turned over to satisfy the subpoena.
Federal investigators also have documents turned over to them independently by St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch, who blew the whistle on Sansone’s contract a few weeks ago.
After announcing Sansone’s resignation, Dooley introduced two nominees to fill vacancies on the police board: former GOP gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence and the Reverend Dr. Freddy Clark, Pastor of Shalom Church.