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St. Louis County police commander at center of racial discrimination lawsuit to retire

Lt. Col. Troy Doyle accused St. Louis County Executive Sam Page of picking a white woman to become chief over him in 2019 because of pressure from donors
Credit: St. Louis County Police Dept.
St. Louis County Lt. Col. Troy Doyle

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Lt. Col. Troy Doyle – who accused St. Louis County Executive Sam Page in a lawsuit of picking him over for chief because he is Black – is retiring from the St. Louis County Police Department.

The trial for Doyle’s discrimination lawsuit is scheduled for 2024.

“It’s time,” he said. “I’ve dedicated almost 31 years to the residents of St. Louis County and I’m very proud of the work I’ve done and the things I’ve been able to accomplish.

“I’m most proud of being a partner with the community.”

He added: “I don’t plan on staying retired for long.”

He would not comment on his next job, but said, “It is hard to leave somewhere that’s been part of your life for 31 years and it’s the majority of your life, but I can’t work here forever. I couldn’t do what I’ve done all these years without support from my family and support of the community.”

His last day will be March 24.

Doyle was once the go-to guy for previous police chiefs in need of someone to address high-profile issues. He was sent to the county jail following multiple deaths there and he served in high-crime areas of north St. Louis County.

In 2019, Doyle applied to serve as the department's next chief. 

In St. Louis County, a five-member police board picks the chief.

Page nominated four of the five members on the board, which chose Mary Barton to be chief in March 2020.

RELATED: St. Louis County Police Captain Mary Barton named new police chief

Doyle filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that Page ordered the board not to pick him as chief because campaign donors did not want a Black police chief.

Page fired back, saying Doyle was his pick for chief, but that the board chose someone else because they operate independently of him. 

Doyle's attorney provided 5 On Your Side with an audio recording in which Page tells Doyle, “The police board does what I tell them to do.”

Page told Doyle he was having some trouble raising donations and that he was “shocked” at what one or two members of the St. Louis Police Foundation said to him during a foundation meeting regarding the possibility of Doyle’s appointment as chief, according to Doyle's lawsuit.

Page told Doyle that he “would have thought” he was “living in the 60s,” based on the comments, according to the suit.

The Police Foundation is a nonprofit that raises money from the business community to fund police-related projects. It's the same nonprofit that just gave an extra $100,000 to the salary of St. Louis City's newest police chief.

It’s also “known to provide significant financial support to the political candidates that they select,” as is true of the group Greater St. Louis, Inc. formerly known as Civic Progress, according to the suit.

“Page and/or individual members of the St. Louis Police Foundation and/or individual members of Civic Progress exerted influence on the Board and/or some of its members to oppose (Doyle’s) appointment to the Chief of Police position and to advocate for the selection of a white person,” according to the suit.

The Police Foundation’s chairman Doug Albrecht sent a statement to 5 On Your Side after a story about Doyle’s EEOC complaint published in July.

It read, in part, “We have not and never will get involved in hiring and personnel issues."

The organization later sent a statement, which read, in part:

"The allegations made about the St. Louis Police Foundation in Lieutenant Colonel Troy Doyle’s racial discrimination lawsuit are untrue. The Foundation has never met with St. Louis County Executive Sam Page regarding the Police Chief position, nor has he ever attended any of our board meetings. Furthermore, we have never communicated with him either verbally or in writing about the Police Chief position."

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