The day before Thanksgiving, the St Louis County Counselor's office brought charges against six people arrested outside a Russ Carnahan town hall for assault, and interfering with a police officer. Two of those arrested were SEIU staff members Perry Molens and Elston McCowan, who were witnessed by three people attacking Kenneth Gladney.
Almost four months elapsed between the time of the attack and the charges filed. The length of time and the failure of the county counselor's office to speak with Gladney, witnesses, or ask for original video gave the impression of a political cover-up. County Counselor Pat Redington took only two days in 2000 to press charges against a Republican running for a Congressional seat on bogus assault charges, but four months went by with no action but the viewing of YouTube videos for these assault charges.
Prior to the charges being filed, KMOX filed reports on the incident, quoting Kenneth Gladney's twin brother, Keith Gladney. Said Gladney:
"I think someone's either slow dragging or they're buying time for some reason." "They're giving him enough time for....basically for this whole case that slipped through the cracks".
Kenneth Gladney was scheduled to meet with a representative of Pat Redington's office the day the KMOX story aired. That appointment was never met, and the next day, charges were filed.
At the time, Keith Gladney worked as an Animal Control officer for the St Louis County Department of Health. Keith was hired in April of 2009 on a six-month probationary schedule, but that probation was extended in September. Keith's father passed away during his employment, and he took time off to put his father's affairs in order. That time was approved, but it is noted on his performance review as the reason for extending his probation. His next evaluation was to be January 24th, 2010.
So on December 23rd, two days before Christmas, Keith was surprised to find himself in a termination meeting based on work complaints. Keith was terminated, told he had no appeal, and the Personnel representative told him this decision came directly from Dolores Gunn, the head of the Department of Health. She signed his termination letter, which I will publish in the information post.
I've spent ten years in employment. The first thing I can tell you is that in any employment dispute, the employee will tell a story that makes them out to be an angel, with a supervisor who had it in for them. Even when employees have been wronged, if you investigate long enough you always find parts of the story that were left out. No one is an angel at work, and very few people will admit to cutting corners of any kind. That's how you have to approach any employment dispute.
At the time, I had been working with Keith and Kenneth for several weeks, helping them gather information and evidence on the assault case. I had told Keith he should keep a low profile, because no one knew Kenneth had a twin brother, and it was best if Kenneth's family stayed unknown. I never believed that any employee of St Louis County would actually go after the family of a beating victim. And with my background, I wanted to make sure that the termination was as Keith said.
The immediate problem was finding Keith employment. Keith is the single source of income for his family, and with rent due and mouths to feed, the investigation had to wait. The time for those answers has now come. With Keith's permission, I'm going to lay out what he says happened. I'm going to present clear avenues to prove or disprove what he says. And then I'm going to find a way to demand answers from Dolores Gunn. There exists specific county evidence that will vindicate Keith or vindicate the Department of Health's decision to fire him.
Posting the story will not be enough. We need someone in a position of authority to step forward and ask for an investigation. It doesn't have to be a long process. At stake is a question of an innocent family that has been attacked for naked political reasons. If what I write is proven, our county government will need to take specific steps to make amends to the Gladneys and fire those who abused the public trust.
Ultimate responsibility will lie with St Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. Both Pat Redington and Dolores Gunn report directly to Dooley. It's time he and his staff take a look at these allegations.
The story begins here.