Paul D'Agrosa Steps Into the SEIU/Tea Party Legal Fracas

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SEIU hopes D'Agrosa will trounce on the charges called for by Tea Party activists.
Elston McCowan and Perry Molens face misdemeanor charges for allegedly assaulting a political button-seller last year; the defendants have pulled out the big guns by retaining St. Louis criminal defense attorney Paul D'Agrosa.

St. Louis County Counselor Patricia Redington is pursuing the charges in municipal court; tonight is the first appearance, at a courtroom in south county. D'Agrosa will enter not-guilty pleas for McCowan and Molens.

The men, both representatives for SEIU, are accused of assaulting Kenneth Gladney at a heated town hall event hosted by Rep. Russ Carnahan last summer. The St. Louis Tea Party subsequently mounted a public defense of Gladney, who was handing out Gadsden flags at the health-care event.

D'Agrosa says he will demand a jury trial for his clients.

Also on the south-county docket tonight: St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jake Wagman.

Wagman was covering the town hall forum for the local daily when police asked him to leave. Redington, the county counselor, charged him with one count of interfering with law enforcement.

Media lawyer Joe Martineau is representing Wagman in the case. The Society of Professional Journalists, meanwhile, has called for the charges against Wagman to be dropped.

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