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Police review board sponsors seek a re-write

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By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis – The sponsors of a bill vetoed by St. Louis mayor Francis Slay are asking him and the police board to work with them to re-write the civilian review board initiative.

Last week, police commissioners created a new panel that aldermen say is substantially weaker than their original legislation.

Alderman Terry Kennedy said the police board rushed its vote creating a civilian review panel without soliciting public input.

He also said Mayor Francis Slay's executive order that adopted parts of the original city legislation has no legal authority.

Slay has asked the aldermen to submit a list of seven nominees for the panel, but Kennedy said he won't get that many names if the co-sponsors don't participate.

"At most he can get four, according to his own executive order," Kennedy said. "And that's the problem. I mean, the mayor can the next day rescind his executive order."

The alderman claim they'll have no legal power to submit a list of nominees to the mayor, as Slay has requested. But police board president Chris Goodson disputed that.

"I don't think that there's any illegality in that whatsoever," Goodson said. "What we've done as a board order is requested that the mayor bring the names to the police board and he's suggested to go to the Board of Aldermen. I think it's a great process and a great democratic step."

The aldermen said they cannot compel the police board to do anything, as the department is actually controlled by the state of Missouri.

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