Saturday, November 04, 2006


I guess Tom Brown was right, Shawn Brown was a crook.  Shawn Brown is a convicted felon.  Wow.  That’s simply a stated fact now.  Although, some might argue that it was always a fact.  The former mayor of St. Peters pleaded guilty in Federal Court to bribery charges.  He abused his office and shook down a potential city vendor for $2,750. 
There are always rumors in politics, and most recent occupant of the Mayor’s office in St. Peters seemed to be the subject of a myriad of rumors about corruption and financial irregularities.  First, it was the “shady” consortium of folks (later identified as the Great White Duck Hunters) paying thousands of dollars in legal fees to get him on the ballot.  See there was a problem when he filed for office.  He was a deadbeat and he had not paid his taxes.  Shawn threw his hat in the ring against incumbent Mayor Tom Brown on a lark, and the deadbeat was properly kicked off the ballot when the City Clerk discovered that he had not paid his property taxes.
Stupid Shawn claims that the taxes were supposed to be paid out of escrow and that’s how it was always done.  Seems that is not the case.  Allegedly, our own former County Collector gave a sworn statement that Shawn had previously paid his taxes by personal check.  Hey, just a minor irregularity.
(Note:  Mayor Tom Brown angered the Great White Duck Hunter himself, Adolphus Bush IV, by proceeding with the 370 levee project.  Tom Brown has also drawn a bit of fire because of an ordinance that would yield a salary in excess of $100,000 if he were elected.  Hence, a political marriage between Shawn and AB is born.)
Shawn and his new, rich buddies “campaigned” against Tom Brown and unfortunately for Tom, who by all accounts took St. Peters to its glorious height, was defeated because according to the rumor mill, Alderman Len Pagano worked with Shawn to point out the pay increase that would have applied to Tom.
The new mayor tried to become a community favorite by showing up at every ribbon cutting, charity event and pretty much anyplace where he might be able to get in “free” as Mayor.  The rumors continued throughout 2004 and early 2005.  Some of the local builders started to talk quietly about his tactics.  Apparently he thought that “shaking down” local businesses was an appropriate way to do business.  He really was a moron. 

In July 2005, Alderman David Hayes accused Shawn Brown of public corruption.  Allegedly (although we all believe it) Shawn shook down Esteem Homes and threatened to pull his support of their project if they did not purchase electrical supplies from his employer.  When Jeff Morrison, the City Attorney was presented with these allegations, he forwarded them to County Prosecutor Jack Banas, who investigated the matter found “insufficient evidence” to proceed.  Although recent press reports suggest that he merely had a bunch of uncooperative witnesses.  Apparently the Feds were luckier in the witness cooperation department.
Then Hayes files an ethics complaint against Shawn and his wife Rhonda for campaign finance irregularities.  From press accounts, it appears that Hayes, a lawyer himself, presented a fairly airtight case against Shawn and Rhonda Brown.  The Missouri Ethics Commission refers the complaint to the Attorney General’s office.  At this point, when the Missouri Ethics Commission releases the findings, they will probably have to mail Shawn’s letter to his new address in federal prison.  Just a campaign finance violation, I guess.
Then, Shawn decided to cash in on Halloween.  He tries to be the “silent party” in a haunted house in St. Peters.  He tells everyone he is raising money for charity, and then confesses that he is a partner, and then it turns out one of his partners is a criminal.  Then, he allegedly fails to pay the employees.  Finally, he claims that no money was raised, so none would go to charity.  Just another financial irregularity, I guess.

Then, in 2006, it was the beginning of the end for Shawn Brown. He saw his chance to cash in big, and he shook down a red light camera company.  The representative went to the Feds and they wired him for the money exchange.  Shawn was indicted on August 17th and early that next morning, FBI agents arrested him.  According to the FBI press conference, he thought they were there on a different matter. Well, that kind of says it all, doesn’t it?
Alderman David Hayes begins loudly asking the Mayor to resign.  I’ve got to hand it to Hayes; he had the power of outrage on his side.  Hayes had Shawn dead to rights on campaign finance violations, previously accused him of similar public corruption.  Now, Hayes was out there all on his own, but he didn’t back down.  The guy may be loud and mean, but he called it.  Even when his own fellow alderman, Len “Pandering” Pagano called him out because Shawn was “innocent until proven guilty,” Hayes stood strong.  Of course, I wasn’t really sure exactly who Pagano was pandering to at that point.  Hey Pagano, incarcerated felons can’t vote, so Shawn won’t be able to vote for you.  FYI, they don’t let felons absentee vote.  But Pagano has always been a moron, and you can’t even say that he began to campaign for mayor, since he’s never stopped.  I’m not sure how many times the guy has to lose before he figures out that no one wants a gavel in his hands.
Now, County Prosecutor Jack Banas, who turned a “duck blind” eye to Shawn’s prior corrupt activities (perhaps at the behest of County Executive Joe Ortwerth who was a great supporter of Shawn’s????) decides to get in the act before people started pointing fingers at his inept investigation, for lack of a better word. Apparently, the boys in St. Peters were right after all, this guy was a crook.  Banas rushes to the press to say that he is considering options for removal of the Mayor.  Apparently Tom Brown was right too, this guy was a crook.  Well, the crook cut a deal with Banas, and Shawn resigned.
Shawn Brown’s
Political Career
April 6, 2004 – Oct 23, 2006
Simpleton.  Crook.  Felon.