Some Concerned Chief Fitch Is Being Forced Out

CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) – Is the St. Louis County police chief’s job in danger? Some fear he’s being pushed out for his outspokenness.

It was Chief Tim 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.

County Police Association President Gabe Crocker worries he is seeing a repeat of 2008 when, according to Crocker, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley appointed police board members in an effort to oust Chief Jerry Lee.

“One of the tactics the Dooley administration used was to replace police board members in order to stack the deck in their favor against then-Chief Jerry Lee,” Crocker says.

On Friday, Dooley announced the resignation of Board of Police Commissioners Chairman Greg Sansone and the nomination of two newcomers to fill vacancies: former GOP gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence and the Reverend Dr. Freddy Clark, Pastor of Shalom Church.

“My concern really doesn’t lie with either one of these candidates. What my concern is, again, is the process of this very quick announcement,” Crocker adds. The quick nominations have left him only Friday and Monday to vet the new police board nominees.

“I’d like to slow things down and hopefully the County Council will consider taking a longer look at this individuals so we don’t potentially end up in a situation that we’re in now,” Crocker says.

The St. Louis County Council must approve the nominations of Spence and Clark before they become members of the board.

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