Saturday, September 23, 2006



By Tony Brockmeyer

When we learned from depositions that fraud was revealed in the attempt by the Citizens Empowerment Committee headed by Linda Meyer to recall Councilman Mark Brown, the First Capitol News contacted Councilman Mark Brown for a comment. Brown told the First Capitol News, “My job on the council is to protect the residents not the rich developers. I will not vote to allow developments that will be detrimental to the homeowners of St. Charles.”

Depositions taken in the effort to recall Councilman Mark Brown have revealed the effort is fraught with fraud and lies and spearheaded by developers wanting Brown out of office so they would have an easier time getting their developments approved.
Mathew LaMora, an employee of local developer Mike Sellenschueter testified under oath, “Mr. Sellenschueter never came out and told me if you don’t do this (collect recall signatures) you’re going to lose your job; however, he did state that without Mark Brown in office it will be much easier to get our developments approved. So by you getting the signatures it’s going to help that process along.”

LaMora, of Wright City, Missouri, who was employed by Sellenschueter as a project manager, testified that he was paid $5 to $10 for every signature he collected in the recall effort. By law the circulator of the recall petitions is required to attest with their signature that they were present and observed each person’s signature being placed on the petitions. The circulator then is to put their name and address on the petitions as the circulator and have their signature attested to by a notary public.

LaMora testified that he did not witness every signature on petitions that carried his signature and that in some instances he was told to sign blank forms that would be filled out later.

He further testified that a man, who he did not know, represented himself as being from the Citizens Empowerment Committee and had him sign the blank forms attesting to the fact he had collected signatures. That man told him, “I need you to sign here and I’ll fill out the rest.” He then gave him a check and took the blank forms and told LaMora they would be filled out later.

Linda Meyer notarized LaMora’s signature on the forms, however, LaMora testified he has never met Meyer in his life.He further testified that his address on the forms were wrong. Meyer is the wife of a St. Charles police officer and is the treasurer of the Citizens Empowerment Committee. That committee, formed with the purpose of recalling Councilwoman Dottie Greet and Councilman Mark Brown and was financed by Sellenschueter, Developer TR Hughes, former hospital head and business partner of Tr Hughes Kevin Katz, PR guru Glennon Jamboretz and his partner, former St. Charles Councilman Ken Kielty. All of these individuals are confidants of Mayor York who was also very active in the recall campaigns along with Councilmen Mike Weller and Bob Kneemiller, and Bob Hoepfner. These same four tried to block the investigation by denying funds to uncover these acts of fraud. A story in the last edition of the First Capitol News tells of the Mayor moving to fire Police Chief Tim Swope. She had asked for copies of the recall investigation and Swope refused to give them to her because it was an ongoing investigation. Sources at City Hall told the FCN that she was angry because Swope had his officers investigating the fraud and forgeries.

LaMora said he did not know Linda Meyer, had never met her, had never had his signature notarized in her presence and had turned the forms over to a man, not a woman.

Tara Hart, another person hired by the Citizens Empowerment Committee, testified under oath that she did not witness all the signatures on petitions she turned in for the recall of Councilman Mark Brown. She admitted she had dropped blank forms off at the Rivers Edge Retirement Committee and picked them up several days later. There were 84 signatures on the forms when she picked them up and she never witnessed any of them. Mayor York’s father. John Sinclair (deceased) was reportedly active in the recall campaign and was a resident at Rivers Edge.

Sellenschueter was angry with Brown because of Brown’s refusal to accept Sellenschueter’s development that Brown said was in a creek bed. Brown refused to vote to allow Sellenschueter to hook his St. Charles County development up to St. Charles City water and sewer lines. Councilman Bob Hoepfner, who had voted several times to deny Sellenschueter to hook up to the City lines changed his vote in favor of the development after he received the plumbing contracts for several homes in the development.

Brown had also remarked on the Council floor that he was against the development because it had not been built to City standards and was built too close to a creek. He said he was concerned that City taxpayers would have to pay millions of dollars for the repair of erosion to the creek banks in later years. Brown, on the council floor during a televised council meeting, discussed the fact that he had been offered a payoff for a favorable vote on this development. Brown pointed out several other councilmen had also received offers for their support. Brown stated some of the council people accepted the offers. The matter was passed 5 to 4 with one abstention because of a conflict.

Brown had also voted against allowing TR Hughes’s St. Andrews development in St. Charles County to hook up to St. Charles City water and sewer lines for similar reasons.

State Representative Tom Dempsey (R) 18th District, had a state law passed in one day forcing St. Charles City to allow the TR Hughes development to be hooked up to City sewers without annexation.

Councilwoman Dottie Greer soundly defeated the attempt by the Citizens Empowerment Committee funded by developers Hughes and Sellenschueter and headed by Linda Meyer. Because of fraud uncovered in the Greer recall attempt the Council refused to place the recall of Brown on the ballot.

Eugene Carroll, a disgruntled former member of the 4th of July Riverfest Committee filed suit to have the Brown Recall placed on the ballot. The Mayor had brought up Carroll’s name for reappointment to the Riverfest committee after his term had expired several times and each time it was rejected by the City Council. Carroll was represented by Claude Knight, a friend of the Mayor and her personal lawyer, in the attempt to recall Brown. After several depositions were taken and obvious signs of fraud and misinformation on the part of Citizens Empowerment Committee were uncovered, Knight dropped the suit.

For additional information please see
Of particular interest:
January 14, 2006 – Attorney Invokes 5th Amendment
January 14, 2006 – Recall Fraud Admitted in Deposition
January 27, 2006 – Citizen Empowerment Committee Leaders Profit Personally from Recall efforts
January 27, 2006 – Police Take Suspect Into Custody Involving recall Petitions
February 17, 2006 – Depositions Could Be fatal – Recall Committee Attempts to Delay
March 4, 2006 – Recall Petitions, Criminal Violations – Widespread forgeries
April 1, 2006 – Councilmen Brown, Greer, Koester file suit to stop Sellenschueter’s Hook Up To City Water and Sewer System
Brown Files Counter Suit Against Sellenschueter’s Company for $25,000 Damages
April 8, 2006 – David Slays Goliath – Greer Beats recall Attempt
May 20, 2006 – Prosecutor expected to file more charges in Citizen Empowerment Committee recall Effort
June 3, 2006 – Investigation Into Recall Uncovers More Fraud – Evidence turned Over to FBI
September 16, 2006 – Forgeries Found in Brown Recall