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Government, Politics & Issues

Krewson demands St. Louis police union fire Roorda over Facebook post

ROORDA.jpg
FIle photo | Chris McDaniel | St. Louis Public Radio
Alderman Lyda Krewson has demanded that the police union fire its business manager, Jeff Roorda, shown here in this file photo, for a "despicable" Facebook post.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. Feb. 17 — An alderman who is running for St. Louis mayor has asked the union representing city police officers to fire their business manager, Jeff Roorda, over a social media attack leveled at another mayoral candidate.

Thursday evening's statement from Alderman Lyda Krewson, D-28th Ward, targets Roorda's Facebook post that called city Treasurer Tishaura Jones a race-baiter and, in a second post, "the worst person to occupy skin."

"Tishaura and I are both candidates for Mayor and are competing hard against each other but I absolutely reject his despicable characterization of her," Krewson said. "She is a respected government official and does not deserve this abuse."

Krewson said Roorda, who works for the St. Louis Police Officers Association, "will not be welcome in my office" if she is elected mayor.

"We will expect the police officers to send someone who is truly representative of them — someone who behaves respectfully and respectably. Jeff Roorda has shown that he cannot," her statement said.

On Twitter, Jones dismissed Krewson's demand as a purely political move.

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Krewson has the backing of the association. Krewson spokesman Ed Rhode said Krewson considered the endorsement "the will of the nearly 1,200 men and women who serve St. Louis bravely every day," and that she remained proud to have the union's support.

Roorda referred questions to the president of the St. Louis Police Officer's Association, Joe Steiger. Steiger had not commented by midday Friday.

Roorda is a former police officer who was fired by the city of Arnold in 2001 for falsely accusing his then-chief of verbal abuse and intimidation. He'd been disciplined before that for filing false reports.

In 2015, Roorda was accused of grabbing a protester who was attending a committee debate on a civilian oversight board for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. He was never criminally charged but the protester, Cachet Currie, filed a civil lawsuit against him late last year.

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