Saturday, June 23, 2007

Council President Criticized For Going On Mexican Holiday With Millionaire Developer

Kneemiller Says They Paid Their Own Way

By Tony Brockmeyer

St. Charles City Council President, Bob Kneemiller and his wife Elaine, recently took a holiday in Cancun, Mexico. The occasion was the annual getaway sponsored by millionaire developer TR Hughes.

After photographs of Council president Kneemiller and his wife along with TR Hughes and others who were on the trip appeared in a local publication the First Capitol News was contacted by several residents who believed this was a conflict of Interest. They said that even if the Kneemillers paid for their own trip it gave the appearance of impropriety.

Hughes recently spent close to $60,000 to defeat several incumbent members of the city council who opposed his hooking up his county development to city water and sewers.

He was also the leader of a failed effort to recall Councilwoman Dottie Greer and Councilman Mark Brown. An effort that was fraught with forgeries and fraud. Arrests were made and more are expected as County Prosecutor Jack Banas continues his review of the investigation.

When the First Capitol News asked Council President Kneemiller about the trip sponsored by Hughes, he replied:

“My wife and I paid for this trip ourself. The hotel was all inclusive. (That means everything was included in the price). The hotel transfers from the airport was also included which is very common on trips such as this. The one day trip we took we paid for by my wife and I.

I am not sure what you mean by "sponsored". Mr Hughes and some others picked the location and people that went made their own arrangements with the travel agent.”