Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Companies Owned by Arnold Police Chief Did Business with the City

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Companies Owned by Arnold Police Chief Did Business with the City

Article excerpt

ARNOLD * The city has paid about $28,000 to two companies owned in part by Police Chief Robert Shockey despite a law that forbids such dealings.

The city last month stopped doing business with Fran Ann Engraving in Webster Groves and B & C Retailing because of their ties to Shockey, City Administrator Bryan Richison said Friday.

Shockey defended the work he did for the city, saying he saved taxpayers money by often not taking a profit on items he sold the city and by using his wholesale contacts.

He also said city officials frequently approached him to make purchases and that he didn't know it wasn't allowed.

"It's not like it's hidden," Shockey said. "They all know I own these companies. I have for years."

City regulations prohibit officials from obtaining goods or services "from businesses in which city officials, employees or their immediate family members have a majority ownership interest."

From September 2006 through February of this year, the city spent just shy of $20,000 at B & C Retailing. Roughly $8,000 was spent at Fran Ann, Richison said.

The companies do engraving and sell items such as T-shirts and award plaques.

Richison said the matter came to light about six weeks ago when a resident in Councilwoman Mary Elizabeth Coleman's district told her of Shockey's ties to the businesses.

Before council members vote to pay bills, they see the name of the business, the amount to be paid and the purpose of the purchase, Coleman said Friday.

"We don't see who the owner of the business is," she said.

She alerted city officials, who began looking into the allegations.

Richison said it appears most council members didn't know the city prohibits such a business relationship with an employee, and said that most knew of Shockey's connection to the companies.

"I know some people are trying to act like it was a conspiracy. …

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