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Lewis Reed v. Francis Slay: Did the Mayor Attack his Opponent by Reducing Wife's Hours?

Lewis Reed portrait.jpg
Lewis Reed
Political motives prompted the office of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay to reduce the hours of Mary Entrup, a housing court judge who just so happens to be the wife of Aldermanic President Lewis Reed -- who is running for mayor. So says Lewis Reed, who, in a chat with Daily RFT, slammed the mayor's office for prioritizing a political agenda over smart decision-making.

In response, Slay's office is refuting the allegations, saying that it was purely a financial decision -- and that it's Reed who is playing politics just to make a splash in the race.

"It shows an abuse of power," Reed tells us. "This administration has shown a lack of ability to separate their politics from the office."

As was first reported last week, Entrup, a part-time municipal court judge and Reed's wife, has publicly alleged that the mayor's office ordered her hours to be cut to around four a week once it was clear her husband would be running for mayor. Prior to that, she was working twelve to fifteen hours a week.

Eventually, she resigned.

Lewis Reed, left.JPG
Sam Levin
Lewis Reed, left, at the MLK Parade on Monday.

"They use their office to promote their politics, plain and simple," Reed tells us in a chat after the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade on Monday. "And as a taxpayer, I don't appreciate my taxpayer dollars being used that way. So what they've done in this case is, they went over and they continued to try and cut her hours. The presiding judge at the time would not cut her hours.... It's just politics."

He continues, "She resigned. There was nothing left to do."

Reed adds, "At the end of the day, though, the citizens of the City of St. Louis, we end up losing when we have people in power that are using taxpayer money to promote political positions."

But Jeff Rainford, Slay's chief of staff, says that this was simply a budget decision tied to rising pension costs.

"We are just minding our own business -- trying to save taxpayer money...[and] balance our budget," he tells us.

Rainford explains that Entrup was a provisional judge and that due to financial burdens, the city realized it had to reduce the hours of these employees and have the full-time judges pick up more slack.

And Rainford also has a theory for why the mayoral hopeful is speaking out about this.

"I guess Mr. Reed thinks the best defense is good offense," says Rainford, arguing that Reed's main problem in this race is that he has generally been aligned with Slay on most issues. "Now he...is trying to distance himself from the mayor. That, to me, is likely why he asked his wife to resign...because he's running against the mayor."

Rainford adds, "He creates this artificial dustup as a way to try and distance himself."

Noting that Reed's wife made the announcement -- accusing Slay of playing politics --through the campaign, Rainford adds, "I guess he doesn't see the irony in that."

But Reed insists that the move can only be motivated by campaign politics.

"There's no other [explanation]. The day he began to believe I was running for office...[his office]...sent a note over to the presiding judge and said cut the hours of Mary Entrup."

More from our Politics archive: "[VIDEO] Mayor Francis Slay Releases First 2013 Campaign Spot"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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7 comments
klsyanderson
klsyanderson

Kitty, you can only go on what's in front of you.

Abbey Allred Wharton
Abbey Allred Wharton

Whether it's true or not it comes across as incredibly whiny and petulant. I can't imagine this is a winning campaign issue.

Prince Carter
Prince Carter

I say you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results, in my opinion neither one of the candidates have the interest of the masses, we as a community must stop giving our vote away, be honest what has either one of them done that would lead you to believe they are going to do right by our community? If we want elected officials to work in our interest we must stop voting for them just because they are black or no-one else is on the ballot, lack of options. PROTEST at the POLLS / WRITE-IN NONE OF THE ABOVE send a message we as a community demand more. Stop allowing yourself to be taken for granted, WRITE-IN NONE OF THE ABOVE Too often I think elected officials have taken our community for granted, but it’s our fault because we allow them, let’s stop that cycle, On March 5, 2013 for the mayor's race, please write-in NONE OF THE ABOVE Stop voting for the lesser of two evils, evil is evil, raise the bar, send a message write-in NONE OF THE ABOVE When a candidate that is worthy of my vote steps up I will let you know, however I think we must stop voting for candidate’s just because they are on the ballot or because they are black, by writing-in NONE OF THE ABOVE it’s a way people like myself that feel we have been taken for granted for far too long can express themselves and still vote, we must vote, but stop voting for people that don’t have the interest of the masses, by WRITING-IN NONE OF THE ABOVE we raise the bar and we send the message we will no-longer be taken for granted, considering the accountability level as it is now what do we have to lose, if it works it will encourage more trust worthy people to run for public office, so don’t be afraid WRITE-IN NONE OF THE ABOVE, stop being taken for granted!

Shire Justin
Shire Justin

Lewis Reed needs new campaign staff. His current strategy is losing everyone's interest and he's going to ruin everything he has accomplished and in the future.

KITTY
KITTY

Put the shoe on the other foot and bet the farm Reed would have done the same thing to Slay's wife if he were mayor.

danbowman58
danbowman58

There is to much inbreeding in politics and government.

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