Arnold attorney says he was fired for whistleblowing

St. Louis – The former attorney for the city of Arnold says he was forced from his job for trying to file an ethics complaint against a city Councilman.

The Arnold City Council voted Thursday night to remove Robert Sweeney and outsource the city's legal work to a law firm in the area. Sweeney had been working on the complaint against Councilman Jerel Poor, who Sweeney believed was using his position to push through an illegal billboard contract that would benefit Poor.

"I don't have any smoking gun evidence that those things had one to do with the other, but in April I would have been with the city for 17 years" Sweeney said. "I'm on my fourth mayor. No one has had a written complaint, or told me I was doing something wrong."

Sweeney says he still plans to file the complaint as a citizen. In addition to Poor illegally using his position on the City Council to lobby for his business interests, Sweeney said, city staff who recommended that the City Council not approve a zoning change needed to erect the billboard were threatened.

Neither Poor not the city responded to a request for comment.