The St. Louis Police Department currently has an open process when a police officer is charged with malfeasance, a crime or a department violation leading to discipline over 15 days. A NO vote on Prop A, November 6th will continue that open process.
A yes vote will end transparency and deprive the media the ability to report to the citizens about St. Louis Police Board hearings. At this time the Police Board Trials are open to the public and the citizens have the right to follow the trials of accused officers. An open hearing protects the officer and the public from discipline meted out for political purposes.
Under the proposed legislation discipline will be determined by the Civil Service Commission. The Civil Service Commission is appointed by Mayor Slay and their ruling is closed to the public with only naming the officer if found guilty. The circumstances of the trial are closed to the public. This system of authority may be suitable for employees of the forestry division and for phantom employees of the Treasurer’s Office, but is not appropriate for the Police Department.
This denial of the public’s right to know was a deal worked out by Rex Sinquefield, Nancy Rice head of a Safer Missouri which is funded by Sinquefield, Mayor Slay and union boss Jeff Roorda. Jeff Roorda is a proponent of closed hearings since he was found guilty of lying on police reports on two separate occasions while a police officer in Arnold, Missouri.
The end result was a major factor in the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association change in stance from being against local control to supporting Prop A. This about face by the Police Officer’s Association on local control has also aided union boss Jeff Roorda’s campaign for a Missouri Legislative house seat. Rex money, Nancy Rice, Bob Holden, Charley Dooley and Mayor Slay rewarded Jeff Roorda with a fundraiser by agreeing to local control and denying the police and the citizens the transparency of public hearings.