New Development in Homeless Center’s Court Battle

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A new hire at a Clayton law firm representing a group of downtown St. Louis condominium owners has Reverend Larry Rice crying foul.

Rice is the founder and director of the New Life Evangelistic Center. The homeless center has been in a heated court battle with downtown residents since last June. They want the shelter’s hotel license to be revoked.

But at the beginning of the year, Rice alleges that the hire of former city counselor Patti Hageman is a conflict of interest for Bick and Kistner, the firm representing the condominium owners.

Hageman had worked for Mayor Francis Slay since 2001. Rice contends she also advised the Board of Public Service since September when hearings to remove the New Life Evangelistic Center’s license began.

Rice is petitioning the St. Louis Board of Public Service this week to no longer acknowledge or allow the Bick and Kistner to be involved in the case.

The Board of Public Service began looking into the center’s license after 160 people signed a petition complaining of public urination, fights and loitering in city parks.

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