Saturday, May 05, 2007


By Tony Brockmeyer

The First Capitol News has learned that St. Charles Police Chief Tim Swope was given 48 hours to accept a severance package Wednesday morning.

In a closed executive session of the City Council Tuesday morning the Council approved a severance package that would remove Swope from the office as Chief of Police but would pay him as a consultant for a year. His health benefits would be continued until the end of this year.

Tim Swope was appointed St. Charles Police Chief on March 8, 2005. He was appointed by former city administrator Alan Williams and his appointment was approved by the Mayor and the City Council. Prior to being appointed Chief of Police, Swope was the St. Charles County Sheriff. He was elected to that office in November of 2002 and was sworn into office in January of 2003.

Tim Swope has three children. Sheriff Swope is a 1984 graduate of St. Charles High School and attended college at Central Missouri State University – Warrensburg on a baseball scholarship. He played peewee football at J.F.L. and the Boy’s Club. In 1982-83 he was a member of the St. Charles High School Pirates who won the State Championship in football. He also played baseball and coached for American Legion Post 312 in St. Charles.

The First Capitol News also learned that in a closed executive session of the city council held on April 24 the city council rejected a proposal to offer Chief Swope a 15 month severance package. We were told a faction of the council lead by Councilwoman Feldman remarked that the Chief could leave but he would leave with nothing. The severance proposal was tabled at that meeting. It was revisited after the regular council meeting Tuesday evening and approved by the council. Swope was to be told he had to accept the offer within 48 hours or it would be taken off the table. Our sources told us they believe Swope would accept the offer.

In the March 31, 2007 edition of the First Capitol News we reported......
Sources at police headquarters have told the First Capitol News, that despite the denials by the Mayor and the police association president, she pledged to fire Police Chief Tim Swope if she is re-elected and they stand by their claim that the statement was made. Asking that their identities be withheld because of fear of their jobs and physical harm, they told the First Capitol News that at a general membership meeting of the police association with more than 25 members present, a member of the executive board told the assembled officers that York pledged to fire the Chief and his staff if she is re-elected. The story was the cover story in our last edition.

Mayor Patti York called a press conference March 26, 2007 to address our story. In the council chambers at City Hall with City Administrator Allan Williams at her side and in a press release distributed by Williams, York claimed, “This press conference was in response to an article written in the First Capitol News last week where it was reported York intended to fire Chief of Police, Tim Swope. The Mayor in the press release said, “I am calling this press conference today to address the unfounded and spurious claims by a local community newspaper that I have pledged to fire our Police Chief, Tim Swope.” She went on to say “I find this disquieting and purposely inflammatory, all in the guise of news, when in reality, it is nothing short of mudslinging at best and politicking at its worst by this local paper. York presented a letter from St. Charles Police Association President, Mark Grothe, it states, “Regarding Mayor York’s pledge to fire Police Chief Tim Swope, the First Capitol News has again been misinformed by their sources.” Both these statements are in direct conflict with sources who attended the police associations meeting on March 8th.

One of our sources told us that if anyone in the association knew who they were it could create issues on the street. The sources told us that an Executive Board member stood up and announced that Mayor Patti York told them during the interview that she would fire Chief of Police, Tim Swope, Major Boerding, Captain Pollard, and the Chiefs secretary Tammy O’Laughlin, it is a package deal.

This is isn’t the first time the Mayor has adversely affected our public safety. For over a year she allowed the City to go without a permanent chief. During this period Major Bob Lowery was presented to the Mayor and Council for approval. York refused to appoint saying Lowery, “Wasn’t a good fit.” Some speculated that she refused to appoint Lowery because the St. Charles Police Association was against him. The Police Association is used to getting it’s way in St. Charles; it worked to remove Chief of Police Dave King, Paul Corbin and now is working against Chief Tim Swope.

The rift between Swope and York began when Swope refused to hand over the investigation into the Dottie Greer recall to the Mayor . The day after Swope turned over the investigation to St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas, York began to require Swope to turn over a weekly activity report letting her know who he spoke to and where he went every day. Members of the Association have family directly involved with the recall. Linda Meyer, wife of Association member Dean Meyer, headed up the recall efforts of Dottie Greer and Councilman Mark Brown. Both recalls were unsuccessful after the investigations turned up forged signatures and widespread fraud.

York was displeased when Swope fired Tommy Mayer, who was president of the state Fraternal Order of Police and who she called her top cop. Mayer was dismissed after an incident in which he ordered City Administrator Williams from his car at gun point and had him drop to the ground.

York was also upset that Swope re-opened an investigation into the alleged cashing of forged checks by her daughter.

“I think this is a lot like baseball, when George Steinbrenner would stand next to Billy Martin and say he would be our manager for the rest of the season, you knew Billy would be gone by the end of the week.” Councilman Mark Brown.

Relating to the use of public facilities for political campaigns, former attorney general Bill Webster went to prison for using a state fax machine during a political campaign. The mayor has used the council chambers and city employees for her campaign.