Kern to Name Ally to City Attorney Post Robert J. Sprague to Regain Job He Held from '73 - '93
Robert Goodrich Of The Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Belleville's new mayor, Mark Kern, 33, announced after his inauguration ceremony Wednesday that he will appoint Robert J. Sprague as city attorney.
Sprague held that post from 1973 to 1993 under former Mayors Charles E. Nichols and Richard A. Brauer.
He was replaced by Larry Brockman after outgoing Mayor Roger C. Cook defeated Brauer four years ago and the aldermen refused to confirm Cook's campaign manager, Phillip A. Montalvo, as city attorney. Sprague is St. Clair County Democratic chairman. He was Kern's campaign manager against Cook and former alderman Tom Mabry. But Kern said Sprague is more than just a political supporter and friend. "He is the most qualified municipal attorney I could appoint," Kern said. Brockman had said he could work with Kern, despite having supported Cook, and Kern had indicated earlier that Brockman might stay on. But Kern said Wednesday that he had found that Brockman had 10 percent ownership in a gambling casino firm. "I'm not going to start this administration with that kind of baggage," he said. Kern also announced that police Capt. Tom Hunter will serve as interim police chief until the City Council confirms a new chief. Sources said Kern's choice for chief is Lt. …