Saturday, May 24, 2008

City Council Gives $1 Million $20,000 Settlement To Sellenschuetter and his MJ Developers

By Tony Brockmeyer

At a recent executive (closed) meeting of the St. Charles City Council they approved a stettlement of $1 Milion $20,000 to Michael Sellenschuetter and his MJ Developers.

Voting for the settlement on a motion made by Cuncilwoman Laruie Feldman and seconded by Councilman Erv Ermeling were Councilmen Ermeling, Feldman, Ron Stivison, Richard Veit and Michael Weller. Voting No were Councilmen Bob Kneemiller, Mike Klinghammer, Larry Muench and Dave Beckering.

The settlement agreement called for immediate payment with the city to make a wire transfer of the funds.

Sellenschuetter had filed the lawsuit after a previous city council had refused to allow him to hook up his Oak Ridge Condominiums Subdivision, located outside the city limits, to St. Charles City water and sewers. Councilman Brown, Ward three had led the fight reasoning that the development did not meet city building codes and was built too close to a creek in violation of numerous laws.

Sellenschuetter then went to St. Charles County Circuit Court who then issued a Writ of Mandamus ordering the city to issue the permits to allow the hook up.

During the last municipal election Sellenschuetter spent thousands of dollars in his successful attempt to have members of the previous council defeated. He made generous donations to the election campaigns of Mayor York, Councilman Laruie Feldman, and Councilman Richard Veit.

Councilwoman Feldman told the First Capitol News she voted for the settlement because, “I determined it was in the best interests of the City to settle this case. The cost to defend the case at trial, the risk of losing at trial, and the cost of an appeal supported the decision to settle, along with our insurance carrier’s concurrence to the settlement.”

When asked if she should have excused herself from voting on the settlement because of the donations Selenschuetter made to her campaign she stated, “There is no law which prohibits me from voting on a matter which involves a person who made a political contribution.”

We asked for comments from Councilmen Veit, Stivison and Ermeling but they did not respond to our requests.

Additional Information on the lawsuit and Sellenschuetter can be found in our archives at

St. Charles City taxpayers paid $720,000 of the settlement and the balance was paid by the city’s insurance carrier.

Sources at City Hall told the First Capitol News the council approved the settlement even though a special CPA, who was hired to review the suit, advised them he believed they owed Sellenschuetter nothing.

We were also told that during closed meetings, the attorney defending the lawsuit for the city also advised the council he believed the city owed Sellenschuetter nothing.

The earlier city council had also refused to allow T.R. Hughes to hook up his St. Andrews subdivision, located outside of the city limits, to city water and sewer but then State Representative Tom Dempsey passed a state law in one day that allowed Hughes to hookup.