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Spence Rescinds His Nomination For County Police Board

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Republican Dave Spence defends his nomination to St. Louis County Police Board.

Republican Dave Spence defends his nomination to St. Louis County Police Board.

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CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) - Days after St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley touted a clean background check for his nominee to chair the Board of Police Commissioners, that nominee has asked to no longer be considered.

Businessman and 2012 gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence sent a letter to Dooley Tuesday, stating that a mandatory background check was the reason he wanted to drop out of the running.

“The new legislation put forward by Councilman Stenger and Councilman O’Mara is in my view flawed in that it creates possible exposure that is unnecessary and unacceptable to me,” Spence wrote, referring to a bill passed on September 10 which makes background checks mandatory for police board nominees.

“The information that is now required under the new ordinance, in my opinion, is excessive,” Spence said in his letter Tuesday. “Council members themselves are not subject to the kind of exposure being asked of private individuals who simply want to serve their community.”

Dooley said earlier this week that Spence’s background check came back clean and he was hoping his nominee would be approved in the coming days. Spence said he is afraid his personal and business information will become public record and then be available to anyone.

Councilman Mike O’Mara, D-Florissant, defended his bill Tuesday night.

“I think it does protect the private information. It’s a closed record,” he said.

Council Chairwoman Kathleen Burkett, D-Overland, voted against the bill last month over concerns that personal information could be leaked to the public. Dooley opted not to veto the legislation but said at the time that it “missed the mark.”

Three members of the five-person police board resigned over the summer in the wake of an FBI investigation into subcontracting for a new crime lab. Until a new nominee is appointed, the police board doesn’t have a quorum.

Dooley’s other police board nominee, Dr. Rev. Freddy Clark of Shalom Church, rescinded his nomination last month. Some council members said Tuesday that they have given Dooley other options for nominees, he just hasn’t taken them.

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