St. Louis – Four St. Louis police officers who were investigated for misusing World Series tickets in 2006 have been granted the ability to appeal the release of files from that internal investigation.
The officers filed court paper asking to intervene in the lawsuit after the Board of Police Commissioners voted last month to follow an earlier court ruling and release those files to a local activist.
That activist, John Chasnoff, sued in 2007 to access the files in the case, in which officers were accused of seizing tickets from scalpers outside the stadium, then allowing friends and relatives to use the tickets before returning them to the evidence room. Police released the criminal investigation file when ordered by a court, but later revealed there was also an internal file. Judge Philip Heagney ordered that file released as well.
The appeal will be filed in the next two weeks, said attorney Neil Bruntrager.
"There are exceptions to the Sunshine Law, we think this fits squarely into one of those exceptions, but even if it doesn't, that privacy right is something that is perhaps an overriding, compelling interest that would keep these records from being disclosed," he said.
Chasnoff was confident he will prevail in court. In 2002, he said, the Missouri Supreme Court in a very similar case ordered the release of statements that officers are compelled to give to superiors.
"Eventually, we think we are going to get all these documents," Chasnoff said. "We think that this is just a delay tactic on the part of the police, and we will be patient and we're sure we'll eventually win on appeal."
Chasnoff was happy that Heagney agreed to release some of the documents.
No officers faced criminal charges in the case, but several were disciplined by the department.