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John Zepaltas drops out of Wentzville alderman race over AK-47 comments

7:38 PM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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By Ashley Yarchin

WENTZVILLE, Mo. (KSDK) - He's a candidate caught making comments of grave concern to Wentzville city leaders. John Zepaltas was running for Ward 3 Alderman, when he was unknowingly recorded by city cameras.

"I am pi**d," he said. "If I had an AK-47..."

"End that conversation now...," responded procurement director, Jerry Hillin.

"I would make a lot of noise," Zepaltas said before walking out of the room.

That was discussion that followed a heated meeting over cost overruns for a city project called 'Splash Station,' a water park next to Peine Ridge Elementary. Some rock was found underground at the 15-acre site, and removing that rock has cost Wentzville about $190,000. The cash comes from the $292,000 contingency fund. And it's a situation that, as a taxpayer, Zepaltas takes issue with.

He withdrew from the race the day after making those comments.

"In today's environment, yes, you have to think two or three times," said George Kolb, who is the interim city administrator for Wentzville. "You have to really analyze what's going on and take actions that you think are appropriate."

"I was frustrated with what I heard in the meeting," Zepaltas said. "I reacted in the moment in the heat of my frustration, and I spoke in an unprofessional manor. I've apologized to those parties involved for what was said, and understand that this matter is closed at this time."

Kolb added that he feels no extra security is needed at future board meetings.

KSDK

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