Saturday, May 05, 2007



The First Capitol News has learned as we were going to press that St. Charles Police Chief Tim Swope has accepted the offer from the Mayor to buyout his contact.

The First Capitol News was unable to obtain comments from the city administration or from Chief Swope. However, city hall sources told us that Swope signed the agreement late Thursday afternoon. His severance agreement, presented to him by Deputy Mayor Ernie Rhodes, provides for one years salary payable in twelve monthly installments plus health care benefits until the end of the year. The agreement apparently prohibits Swope from making any derogatory comments about the city for 365 days.

We reported in earlier editions that at a meeting of the police officers association prior to the April 3rd election the officers in attendance had been told by a police association board member that Mayor York had met with the board and promised them if they supported her in her reelection bid she would remove Swope and relace him to someone of their liking. We also reported that she would also remove Assistant Chief, Major Bob Boerding, Captain Gary Pollard and the Chief’s secretary.

After our paper hit the streets, York called a press conference denying the allegations. She presented a letter from the president of the police association denying she had made such a promise.

The First Capitol News stood by our story which was confirmed by several police officers who had been in attendance at the police association meeting.

Shortly after being sworn in for her third term as Mayor, York went to police headquarters commandeered a office and started meeting with individual employees. She allegedly told the police employees she was to be considered the Police Chief and that she would be running the department.

Sources in the department told the FCN the Mayor’s actions made it extremely difficult for Swope to stay in command of the police officers as he was being undermined by York on a daily basis. To use their words, the Mayor acting as Police Chief was causing a crisis in the department because some employees were ignoring directions that were being given by Chief Swope.

Evidently, seeing the handwriting on the wall and unable to properly command the police department without interference from the Mayor, Swope asked for a buyout of his contract.

Swope has been St. Charles Chief of Police since March 8, 2005. There were three years remaining on his contract. Prior to that he was the St. Charles County Sheriff.

The FCN was also told that police Captain Dennis Corley had recently contacted the police association and had asked for their support for his possible appointment as Chief of Police. Corely was allegedly told by the association that they would not support him as they were committed to supporting a candidate supported by ex-police Sergeant Tommy Mayer. Mayer, the former head of the state Fraternal Order of Police, was fired by Swope after he placed former City Administrator Alan Williams on the ground in the parking lot of police headquarters by gunpoint. Mayer is a friend of the Mayor who has called him, Missouri’s “Top Cop.”

A bill passed by the City Council Tuesday evening gives the Mayor authority to hire interim department directors for any period of time and she can set their salary for any amount from $40,000 to $120,000, all without any input from the city council. She can also appoint them for any period of time and there is nothing the council can do about it.

Under the last city council, the office of Chief of Police stayed vacant for over a year because the council would not approve any of the candidates the Mayor wanted. This is no longer a problem for her. She can now appoint an interim police chief, set any salary she wants up to $120,000 all without approval from the city council.

Information on any of our past stories regarding this matter can be found in our archives at