CLAYTON, MO –(KMOX) County Executive Charlie Dooley delivers a profanity-laced speech against his political foes, followed by a request for his audience — county workers — to donate to his campaign.
It happened Wednesday night during a closed-door, mandatory campaign meeting for non-merit employees held at the Seven Gables Hotel in downtown Clayton. About fifty people were in the audience.
Sources who attended the meeting, but asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, describe Dooley’s speech as ‘surreal, shocking and unhinged.”
You could hear a pin drop, sources said, after Dooley scorned his political foes on the St. Louis County Council, reportedly dropping F-bombs.
Taking aim at three main opponents on the council, Dooley allegedly said: Mike O’Mara couldn’t put two sentences together into a paragraph. Greg Quinn has been there 20 years and doesn’t know anything. And Steve Stenger is someone nobody knows.
Stenger is a Democrat challenging Dooley in the August primary.
In a manner that witnesses described as being “out of character” and “different from the old Charlie,” Dooley turned his attention to former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch.
Fitch, who was not at the meeting, had requested the FBI investigate financial irregularities at the county police board and county health department.
Of Fitch, Dooley allegedly said: Publicly, I’ll say I wish him well, but privately, he can go to hell.
Sources say Dooley also told the crowd that the FBI is not investigating county government or his administration. He then reportedly asked the audience to donate one-percent of their annual salary to his re-election effort, preferably before the end of the quarter.
At that point, sources say Dooley’s Chief Operating Officer Gary Earls spoke up to tell the crowd they don’t have to give an exact one percent of their salary, but they can round it off.
Sources indicate no effort was made to tell county employees that donating to the Dooley re-election effort was voluntary.
Sources described the effect of the speech as “intimidating” with the audience caught in moments of awkward silence looking at their hands in their laps.
Among those reportedly present at the event was Dooley spokesman Pat Washington.
Washington confirms she was there. But she denies Dooley himself asked for campaign donations. Washington says the campaign manager made the pitch.
“Somebody has a really active imagination,” Washington said, “I did not hear Charlie Dooley say “F– the council.’ Charlie Dooley was as animated as he’s ever been. It was upbeat, more like a rally.”
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