County Police Chief Writes About Efforts to Discredit Him
CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) - St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch wrote in a blog post Monday night that his records are being searched by political opponents in an attempt to discredit him.
It was Fitch who called the Federal Bureau of Investigations, concerned about construction contracts for the new crime lab. Now the county is under subpoena and two members of the Board of Police Commissioners are out.
As KMOX reported Monday, County Police Association President Gabe Crocker warned that County Executive Charlie Dooley’s nominees for the police board are part of an effort to oust Fitch in much the same way Chief Jerry Lee was ousted five years earlier. Fitch echoed those concerns Monday night.
“I had a front row seat when they went after Chief Jerry Lee. I’ve seen this movie,” Fitch wrote. “Back then, they also went after the employees in the police department. Suddenly, our requests for training and travel were being denied. Officer misconduct was being purposely leaked. The price you pay for speaking out.”
Fitch called Lee a “decent and honorable man” and said he resigned in order to avoid further disruption to the department.
Now it’s Fitch himself who believes he’s under enhanced scrutiny by those who would like to see him out of a job. He says there were requests last week for his travel records and expenses.
“If they can’t successfully find some scandal about me, they will do their best to find misdeeds of my family and/or the 1,100 employees who belong to the county police family,” the police chief wrote. “I wish them all the luck in the world.”
According to Fitch, this isn’t the first time his records have been sought by consultants hired by his political opponents. Last year, he says, a research company was hired to review his taxes and work expenditures after he spoke out in opposition to speed cameras.
“Those who actually hired the research company would never ask for the records themselves,” Fitch wrote Monday night. “They hide behind a political research company, so nobody will know who’s paying them. That’s how this stuff works.”
The chief reiterated in the post that he can handle the enhanced scrutiny.
“This is a dirty game, but it’s the only way they know how to play it. They go after those who are disloyal or threaten the status quo. You can bet that I’ll keep you posted as the games continue.”