The news came out today (right before a holiday weekend) that the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri was not going to press federal charges against disgraced former superintendent Dianne Critchlow after a four-month investigation into her theft from the Fox school district, much to the anger of Arnold residents. This investigation took place after JeffCo prosecutor Forrest Wegge punted the case to the feds. Despite the adage that you can indict a ham sandwich, apparently you can’t indict a corrupt school administrator. I think perhaps the distinction, but not one that the US Attorney explicitly made, was that they could not find sufficient federal laws to prosecute her under.
But it’s not over quite yet. The JeffCo and St. Charles County prosecutor’s offices confirm that the St. Charles County prosecutor is going to review the case. An additional investigation is not taking place; prosecutor Tim Lohmar will take a look at what information has already been uncovered.
While I was initially told that the US Attorney appointed Lohmar, this was incorrect. It is most likely, but nobody could confirm this, that it was Wegge who passed this on to St. Charles County. But why? The most common reason for such a move is a conflict of interest. And on this note, I heard from a few people who believe that there is some sort of acquaintance/friendship between Wegge and Critchlow. This would be a reason for recusal, but Wegge did not pass on the initial investigation. He looked into the state audit results for 6 weeks before giving the case to the feds.
Is he trying to get a second opinion on what, if anything, to charge her with? (Here’s my list of suggestions). In any case, we have one last bit of hope that some legal repercussions will hit Critchlow. If not, this nauseating statement from her lawyer will stand:
“We are very pleased with the outcome of the federal investigation, clearing Dr. Critchlow of any wrongdoing,” [Brandy] Barth said in the statement.
“While she has allowed this investigation to run its course, she has always trusted in the system and believed that a fair and impartial investigation would clear her name. She is ecstatic that this day has finally arrived.”