Arnold Ballotgate: A Counterattack

1 Apr

Just when it looked like Arnold ballotgate was over, and city attorney Bob Sweeney had gotten away with electoral skullduggery, illegally-disqualified candidate Shaun Missey has struck back. He has filed a federal lawsuit against Arnold, Sweeney, and city clerk Diane Waller (the Darth Vader to Sweeney’s Emperor Palpatine in this saga).

I still wish Missey would have challenged the removal in court, because he very likely would have won, and landed an undeniable public blow against Sweeney (and maybe even forced the Leader to mention the fact of Sweeney’s hypocrisy on the subject of candidates’ tax payments). I admit, though, that Sweeney’s systematic attempts to smear Missey on the tax issue may have made an election victory very difficult. As for this lawsuit, I wish it had been filed a day earlier, to allow the Leader the chance to do a story on it before the election (assuming they would want to do such a thing. The suit was filed Tuesday, so they conceivably could have. The Post-Dispatch had a story up online on Tuesday).

Readers of this blog who peruse the lawsuit will find its content quite familiar. It covers much of the same territory I have explored in my numerous posts on ballotgate. I wonder if attorney Chet Pleban (a local hero: see his work for Ken Moss and the Ellisville mayor) reads my blog. I am especially pleased to read paragraphs 39-41, on page 7:

This is information that was only reported here. I passed it on to local news outlets, but they were uninterested. Paragraph 41 alleges something I assumed, but could not corroborate – that Byrnes Mill mayor Susan Gibson is a Sweeney crony. The lawsuit also covers the non-removal from the ballot of Randy Crisler and Bill Moritz, the removal of North Jefferson County Ambulance District candidate Ron Woehrle (which was overturned by a judge) and the ultimate jurisdiction of the Missouri Department of Revenue, not the Arnold city clerk, in these matters (to the extent the tax laws apply to municipal candidates, which they don’t; but if they did, the DOR would be the decider [page 14]). The suit also brings up Sweeney’s penchant to blab to local media when it is convenient for him (page 17).

Paragraph 46 explains why Mayor Ron Counts is ultimately responsible here, despite his complete silence on the issue:

The actions alleged herein were part of a custom and/or policy on the part of the City, were made or ratified by those with final policymaking authority, represents the policy of the City, resulted from the City’s failure to adequately supervise and/or control its appointed officials and/or employees, and/or constitutes a deliberate and/or conscious choice on the part of the City to violate the Constitutional rights of others.

The clause I highlighted is, I think, the correct one. Paragraph 34 reveals the ultimate motivation for all of this chicanery:

Upon information and belief, Sweeney is a political ally of Counts and has a financial interest in Counts and his political allies maintaining a majority on the Council so that Sweeney is not replaced as the City Attorney as he was in December 2009 (emphasis mine).

This one will be fun to watch. Will the city offer Missey a quick settlement, or is that only available for regime allies? It will probably take awhile to resolve this, because as we have seen in the Ott and Moss suits against the city, Sweeney and company like to delay, delay, delay. With his unlimited legal budget, Sweeney probably figures he can win by default by causing his opponents run out of money to pay their lawyers.


5 Responses to “Arnold Ballotgate: A Counterattack”

  1. Dennis Hyman April 3, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    I would really like to know who you are. This site is so far right, it goes straight to Tea Party. I like how you dismiss the fact that Mr. Sweeney neglected to claim personal property for two years, or pay taxes for said property. When he got caught, he placed the blame on not getting a bill from the County. So, he was aware that he didn’t get a bill. He was aware that he owned personal property in the County. Even though he didn’t get a bill, it was HIS responsibility to contact the County about the error. Instead, he decided to not say anything, and now that he got gigged on it, he’s mad. And as far as anyone knows, he didn’t try the appeals process. How can you sue, when you didn’t even try to appeal the original decision?


    • JC Penknife April 3, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      If you think Missey is a scofflaw, it is your right to vote against him on election day. It is not the right of Bob Sweeney to make that decision for you, contrary to the law. Do you share this same contempt for Bill Moritz, who twice failed to pay his taxes before election filing deadlines?


      • Dennis Hyman April 3, 2013 at 10:54 am #

        Is Bill Moritz suing the city? Nice try at the redirect and slight of hand, however.


      • JC Penknife April 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

        Moritz isn’t suing because he wasn’t illegally removed from the ballot.



  1. Arnold Insurance Drop Makes No Sense | Jefferson County Penknife - June 24, 2013

    […] department. In addition, city attorney Bob Sweeney (along with others) has been sued by both Shaun Missey (over ballotgate) and by Moss. The city just paid out money to Ozark Hills Park Properties in […]


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