Fired Policeman Calls It Small-Town Corruption | Courthouse News Service
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Fired Policeman Calls It Small-Town Corruption

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) - A St. Louis suburb fired its assistant police chief for cooperating with the FBI in a corruption investigation of the town's mayor, the officer claims in court.

Steve Blackeney sued Pine Lawn and its former City Manager Brian Krueger, on Jan. 29 in St. Louis County Court.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Blackeney was fired after he called in another officer to provide transportation to two women he had taken home from a bar. But in his lawsuit, Blackeney says the reason he was fired was retaliation for cooperating with the FBI in its investigation of Pine Lawn Mayor Sylvester Caldwell.

Caldwell is not a party to this lawsuit.

Blackeney claims that he told the FBI that Caldwell did abuse his authority by, among other things, having the city Lawn repave Caldwell's porch and driveway, and then posting a city police officer to park in front of Caldwell's house for two days to make sure nobody walked through the wet cement on Caldwell's driveway.

He says he also told the FBI that Caldwell had officers arrest his political adversaries, used a city van to transport his DJ equipment, and stationed officers to guard Caldwell's DJ equipment when he left it in the community center overnight;

A federal grand jury indicted Caldwell on extortion charges last year. Caldwell pleaded not guilty to the charge in September.

Blackeney claims Krueger, who has since been fired from Pine Lawn, published a defamatory memo regarding Blackeney's firing. He says the memo falsely accused him of being fired for the incident with the two women.

Blackeney says he has received numerous promotions and commendations since he was hired in 2010, including the Medal of Valor in 2010 and "Investigator of the Year" for 2013-2014 by the Missouri State Investigator Association.

Pine Lawn is 7 miles northwest of St. Louis and 5 miles south of Ferguson, renowned now for the Michael Brown shooting.

Pine Lawn's population of 3,261 is 95.8 percent black and has a median income of $26,477, according to

Blackeney seeks $5 million in damages. He is represented by Michael J. Brunton of Collinsville, Ill.

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