A resolution that would ask the St. Louis Metropolitan police chief to resign if he runs for mayor was sent to the public safety committee Friday morning.
Initially, Alderman Joe Roddy introduced the measure and sought unanimous consent.
That was objected to immediately.
Roddy was left with two options, send his resolution to committee or try to get the rules governing how resolutions are handled suspended for this issue.
A vote was held to suspend the rules.
A super majority is needed to suspend the rules, and the vote came up just short of reaching that mark.
Eighteen aldermen voted to suspend the rules, seven voted not to, and three opted to not vote.
Aldermen Sharon Tyus, Freeman Bosley, Sr., and Shane Cohn chose this option.
Having failed to suspend the rules, Roddy’s resolution was sent to the public safety committee for review.
Roddy was disappointed, he says he had hoped this would be a simple matter that sent a simple message.
Alderman Tyus says, she supports most of the resolution but couldn’t vote yes to suspending the rules because she felt Roddy should have taken a different route.
Tyus is leaning on section of the City Charter that says,
“Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit or prevent any such person from becoming or continuing to be a member of a political club or organization or from attendance upon political meetings, from enjoying entire freedom from all interference in casting his vote, from expressing privately his opinions on all political questions, or from seeking or accepting election or appointment to public office, provided, however, that no active campaign for election shall be conducted by any employee unless he shall first resign from his position.”
However, Chief Sam Dotson said state law allows him to run for office.
State Statute 67.145 says,
“No political subdivision of this state shall prohibit any first responder from engaging in any political activity while off duty and not in uniform, being a candidate for elected or appointed public office, or holding such office unless such political activity or candidacy is otherwise prohibited by state or federal law.”
We reached out to the State Attorney General’s Office and have not received word on how exactly the City Charter and the State Law interact.
Candidates interested in running for mayor can’t official file the paperwork to do so until the end of November.