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Slay's Aide Says Homeless Cleanup was Wrong

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Jeff Rainford, chief of staff to Mayor Slay (file photo)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – An aide to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says a city judge should not have ordered arrested homeless people to do community service. They had only been accused - and not convicted - of nuisance crimes.

Two lawsuits claim the city violated the constitution rights of the homeless by trying to drive them out of downtown, especially during the July Fourth weekend.

Slay's chief of staff, Jeff Rainford, says ordering community work will not be repeated. Rainford also says the city will stop taking private money from the Downtown St. Louis Partnership to help pay for the court that deals with such crimes. Critics have suggested the money might unfairly influence rulings.

The American Civil Liberties Union and three other groups have filed the suits; lawyers who filed suit say they'll continue pursuing them.

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