Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Assistant Police Chief Agrees to Drop Lawsuit

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Assistant Police Chief Agrees to Drop Lawsuit

Article excerpt

Overland's assistant police chief agreed this week to drop his lawsuit against city officials.

Maj. Richard Kessler had filed the suit seeking to block city officials from obtaining copies of reports from an internal police investigation of Kessler.

The Board of Aldermen met this week in closed session for more than two hours to discuss the suit. By the end of the meeting, Kessler had agreed to turn over copies of the report to the board; the board vowed to maintain the report as a closed, confidential record.

Louis Laderman, Kessler's attorney, said his client's objection had been that the board had never voted to seek copies of the document.

"Only a single alderman requested it," Laderman said. "We've maintained from the beginning that it's inappropriate to try personnel matters in the press."

Last month, Alderman Mark Brown asked for the document - an internal report with transcripts - concerning incidents the Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating. Brown argued that police Chief Eddy Williams had failed to disclose to the board the existence of a completed internal investigation on Kessler.

This week, Laderman said the document cleared Kessler of wrongdoing. Brown claims that the report justifies discipline.

Williams had called the Highway Patrol to investigate a feud between Kessler and Capt. Bill Turner over a woman who also works for the city. Police sources say Turner has alleged that Kessler loaned the woman a gun and obtained and altered a closed police record on Turner.

Kessler returned to work last week after a one-month paid leave of absence. Mayor Frank Munsch said he ordered Kessler's return because Munsch learned from the Highway Patrol that troopers found insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Kessler.

Both Kessler and Turner attended Monday night's Board of Aldermen meeting.

Turner told reporters that he went to Williams when he learned the woman had the gun "because I feared for my safety. …

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