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Former St. Louis Cop Pleads Guilty to Involvement in Towing Scandal

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Former St. Louis police detective Kevin Shade has pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with falsifying inspections for S&H Parking Systems.

According to the facts filed with the court, between October 2004 and August 2008, Shade passed vehicles for inspection despite obvious flaws, and then signed Vehicle Examination Certificates falsely stating there was no apparent damage or only slight damage to the vehicles. In exchange for performing these and other faulty inspections, Shade received cash payments from an employee of S&H Parking Systems.

"When it comes to fighting crime, the FBI places top priority on investigating public corruption," said John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in St. Louis. "In order to have law and order in our society, honesty must begin with the men and women who are entrusted to serve and protect. Unfortunately on occasion, there are those who sell out the people's trust and we will hold them accountable."

Shade, 35, St. Louis, pleaded guilty to one felony count of mail fraud.  He appeared before United States District Judge Rodney W. Sippel.

He now faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000, when he is sentenced on October 29, 2009.

Revelations last year that S&H Parking and its towing firm, St. Louis Metropolitan Towing Company, loaned cars to St. Louis police officers, led to the resignation of then chief Joe Mokwa.

In response to the guilty plea, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police released a statement today saying:

Kevin Shade resigned from the Metropolitan Police Department on June 25, 2009. The Metropolitan Police Department - City of St. Louis is committed to rooting out any and all persons who violate the laws they are sworn to uphold. The department hopes the fact that we are investigating our own and participating in prosecutions when applicable, sends a message that such violations will not be tolerated by the leadership of this department, will not be tolerated by the officers who refused to have the actions of a  few tarnish the reputations of the many, and will not be tolerated by the citizens of the St. Louis who expect and deserve better.  

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