Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Comptroller Fires Jones' Ex-Bodyguard

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Comptroller Fires Jones' Ex-Bodyguard

Article excerpt

Comptroller Darlene Green fired Virvus Jones' former bodyguard on Wednesday.

The action came a day after the bodyguard, Kerry Alexander, pleaded guilty to tax fraud in connection with Jones' 1993 campaign for comptroller.

"I am, of course, saddened to have to take this action," Green said. "However, I believe that I have done what is in the best interest of the taxpayers and the city of St. Louis."

Alexander got two weeks' severance pay.

Meanwhile, there were calls for dismissals of these city employees connected to the case:

Steve Baker, head of the city parking division.

Brian Wahby, executive assistant to city Treasurer Larry C. Williams.

Leslie F. Bond Jr., fiscal executive in the comptroller's office.

Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. appointed Green one month ago to succeed Jones, who resigned in September after pleading guilty to three counts of tax fraud.

Jones hired Alexander, a former police officer, in February as a special assistant for community relations. The job paid $38,000 a year. At the time, Jones and Alexander were both under federal investigation in connection with an illegal transfer of cash during Jones' 1993 campaign.

In June, a federal grand jury indicted Jones, Alexander and three others. Two of the three co-defendants, Penny Alcott and John Runyan, have pleaded guilty to charges relating to the illegal transfer of cash from Jones' campaign to Alcott's campaign. The third, Craig Walker, went on trial Wednesday in federal court.

Alcott, testifying at her guilty plea Tuesday, admitted that she entered the comptroller's race only to pull votes away from Jones' main opponent, Alderman James Shrewsbury.

Among those who persuaded her to run, she said, were:

Baker, who pleaded guilty in January of mail fraud in connection with Jones' campaign. At the time Baker was executive assistant to Williams, the city treasurer. Baker took a paid leave of absence after his plea, but Williams returned him to active duty in July as the head of the city parking division. He makes about $59,000 a year.

Wahby, who replaced Baker as Williams' executive assistant. Wahby has declined to comment and is expected to testify at Walker's trial. …

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