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Internal Investigation: Dooley’s Officers Allegedly Performing Improper Background Checks

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX) - Two police officers assigned to protect County Executive Charlie Dooley are under an internal investigation in connection with their use of a criminal database.

County Chief Tim Fitch said investigators are trying to determine whether the officers had been performing unauthorized background checks on the Regional Justice Information Services (REJIS) system.

“Anything unrelated to criminal justice purposes would be a violation of rules,” Fitch told KMOX.

Fitch said he is not aware of any evidence that Dooley’s driver used the REJIS system to research Dooley’s political opponents, but said “that would be a violation” if it happened.

At Tuesday night’s county council meeting, Dooley denied any involvement or knowledge of the internal investigation saying questions should be refereed to the police department. He also insisted that he never directed his officers to do any searches on the REJIS system.

Questions first arose on the issue last fall when Fitch discovered the officers ran a background check into former police board candidate David Spence. Fitch questioned then that he didn’t believe it was his officers’ place to run the checks.

“I thought it was inappropriate because we answer to police board members and we should not be doing any background checks on our own supervisors,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Fitch could not tell us who or if any other names had been improperly run through the criminal database system. KMOX filed a sunshine request several weeks ago to find out the names.  Late word today, the police department responded that the records sought are “presently” not available under the Sunshine Law.

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