St. Louis Police Department Wins One in the World Series Ticket Scalping Scandal
|Judge Heagney has had this case since 2007.|
St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Philip Heagney has decided to allow the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department's lawyers to present new evidence in the case. On March 15, attorneys for the department will get to argue why they think their "administrative file" should remain shielded from public view.
The file contains all the statements that IA investigators took from the police officers who misused 2006 World Series tickets that they confiscated from alleged scalpers. As Daily RFT reported last month, these statements were not turned over to Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce before she made the call not to prosecute any officers for official misconduct.
The officers, along with several supervisors, were demoted and docked pay as a result of the IA "administrative" probe.
The department had asked Heagney to throw out his previous ruling ordering the entire IA file to be opened to public scrutiny. The department did make public some of the file: the "criminal" portion that Joyce's office had access to. (That file did not contain any statements from officers -- but did show this guy allegedly enjoying a seat obtained with a ticket confiscated by a cop.)
Heagney's new ruling, which he signed yesterday, only allows the police department to present new evidence, and gives ACLU attorney Tony Rothert the opportunity to object.
Heagney will decide by April 12 if the agency must comply with his earlier decision and turn over all the documents.
Rothert, who filed the case on behalf of local gadfly John Chasnoff, remains upbeat. "This does drag the case out," he tells Daily RFT, "but I'm confident that the result will be the same after the evidence is presented. That is, the [whole] file is a public record, and it does not meet any exception [under the Sunshine Law], and it will have to be released."