Updated at 8:45 p.m. to clarify the location of mingled funds.
The Missouri Ethics Commission has fined St. Louis city Alderman Antonio French nearly $38,000 for a series of campaign finance violations that occurred during his successful 2009 campaign for the 21st Ward seat.
French, a Democrat, was charged with five violations, including failing to maintain a checking account at a chartered bank for about nine months, and failing to update campaign records to indicate the closure of the old account and the opening of a new one.
Larry Arnowitz knew his campaign against Fred Heitert was a long-shot at best. After all, Heitert had served the 12th Ward on the city’s southwest side since 1979, winning eight elections as a Republican without the benefit of a Republican voting base. (He lost that in the 1981 redistricting, when the other Republican poached it.
But during his years as a city employee, Arnowitz got to meet Albert "Red" Villa, the longest-serving alderman in St. Louis history. He also served as a deputy sheriff at the pleasure of Red's son Tom, when Tom was the Board president. (The two will serve together on the board for the next two years. Tom is filling the seat of his nephew Matt, who resigned to focus on expanding Villa Lighting, the family business.)