Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A tale of two chiefs, by Francis Slay

Nothing new here, but the Mayor's Office of the City of St. Louis has completely ignored a Sunshine Law request coming from an African-American newsweekly in St. Louis with an audited circulation of 70,000 and an estimated weekly readership of 250,000, based on reader surveys and web data.

Nothing new. Ed Rhode in the mayor's office has been ignoring the St. Louis American since we stopped printing verbatim Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford's version of events, which has been the Post's modus operandi until the juicy towing scandal got their dormant journalistic fluids flowing again.

In this case, Slay's office can't legally ignore us, unless the documents requested fall under a separate jurisdiction, which seems to be the case. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department told us the request has been turned over to its Legal Department. When I told the PR person I am blogging the status of my document request, she volunteered that they had received a ton of open-records requests on Chief Joe Mokwa and Metropolitan Towing.

The smart money says some of these requests are from reporters for national publications. It would be very good for the citizens of St. Louis if this scandal gets national play. Some of us are hoping that U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway (who owes me a call today) jumps on this investigation as a career-booster, as she (presumably) eyes Kit Bond's seat in the U.S. Senate. Not often I say this about a conservative Republican, but go, girl!

In the absence of documents, we'll see what we can add to the Post's decent reporting on this story in tomorrow's newspaper (available for free in and around St. Louis at Schnucks, Walgreens, and other locations and online). In the meantime, enjoy this biting cartoon by Kevin Belford, which appear on tomorrow's editorial page along with our endorsements for governor, lietuenant governor, attorney general and state treasurer.

2 comments:

Stefene said...

I'll be stopping at Smitty's for our copy first thing tomorrow AM! Can't wait to get our mitts on the new paper. And I'll be sending mojo out into the ether for a big, juicy national story on this whole mess...

King_Torch said...

Sounds good, I'll pick up a copy mid-morning......