Waller Withdraws from Pay Suit, Lashes out at Councilwoman

24 Jun

Only four days after a recall effort was launched against him, Jefferson County Executive Ken Waller (GOP) buckled under public pressure and withdrew from the elected official pay lawsuit as one of the large group of plaintiffs seeking a retroactive pay hike (they claim they just want clarification on the charter from a judge, but come on), becoming the second politico to do so, after outgoing assessor Terry Roesch, a Democrat. Waller’s participation in the lawsuit was the number one complaint listed in the recall petition notice.

In the current edition of the Leader, Waller admits that the recall had a “small part” to play in his decision to withdraw. He also raises an interesting question:

“I don’t know what effect my withdrawal from the suit will have on whether I would share in back pay or benefits if the judge rules that way. That didn’t play into my decision to get into the suit, and it didn’t play into my decision to get out of it.”

It may not make a difference if Waller has his name on the suit or not. If the money-seeking politicians win, in theory every countywide elected official who has served since 2010 would be eligible for a payout. On the other hand, I hear that Waller played a role in helping recruit elected officials to join this suit. I suspect this was to make a show of force to the court and to spread the predictable political backlash out amongst more people. Given the above uncertainty, Waller needs to come out and state unequivocally that he will accept no lawsuit-related payouts from taxpayers if this suit succeeds. But I doubt he will, because this suit is all about the money.

Along with ending the negative attention and trying to thwart the recall, perhaps another reason Waller dropped out is that he read this devastating motion from the county’s defense team to dismiss the lawsuit and realized his lawsuit is weak. This motion is rather savage:

Setback in Another Lawsuit

Waller’s other lawsuit against the county, which is the legal equivalent of a temper tantrum, was filed because the county council went against his desire to take for himself the right to remove (or not) people from county boards for missing too many meetings. This case was dismissed by the judge this week, since Waller sued the wrong entity and did not set forth an actionable claim. Waller was given until the end of the month to file an amended lawsuit. I suspect that if he can’t sue the council that he is unable to get along with and tries to use as a punching bag, he may not bother to go forward with the suit. Here was the motion to dismiss in this case, another barnburner:

Waller Lashes Out

Two weeks ago the Leader reported on Waller’s effort to gut the county council’s ability to defend against Waller’s lawsuits by trying to cut the funding for hiring outside attorneys. He wanted to reduce the amount set aside from $100,000 to $25,000, claiming a desire for fiscal responsibility. Of course, if Waller was really fiscally responsible he wouldn’t SUE THE COUNTY TWO TIMES. Councilwoman Renee Reuter (GOP) rightly put Waller in his place:

“The use of decision-making authority for the purpose of financial gain constitutes a conflict of interest. The penalty for violations of conflict of interest is criminal in nature,” she said, punishable first by a fine and on subsequent offenses, possible jail time. She also noted that under the county charter, “any officer or employee of Jefferson County who willfully violates the conflict of interest section should forfeit their office.”

Right on. Can you imagine if President Trump tried to cut the FBI budget right now, how media heads would explode? Or what if St. Louis County executive Steve Stenger, who has engaged in numerous efforts to reward donors, did something like this? The St. Louis media would be all over it. But since we’re just JeffCo, this won’t get much notice. But basically you have Waller trying to use his position to interfere in his own lawsuits to help himself win.

Well, Waller was apparently not too happy about being taken to task. While the Leader‘s Pat Martin likes to portray Waller as an aw-shucks country public servant, the fact is that Waller is a knife fighter. His revenge against Reuter was delivered Thursday, when he released an executive order removing her from her spot as one of Jefferson County’s representatives on the East-West Gateway council, a regionwide group that allocates federal transportation funding. I don’t know what Waller’s official rationale for this move is, but it is hard to see this as anything other than political payback. Waller whines in this week’s Leader that the recall effort against him just a personal vendetta, while at the same time engaging in actions like this. Maybe we should add a bullet point about hypocrisy to the recall petition.

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Waller Withdraws from Pay Suit, Lashes out at Councilwoman”

  1. HC June 24, 2017 at 8:19 pm #

    There are no words for this, neither for how he accomplished to get HIS bill, which was voted down, to share PDMP with St.Louis, via the county charter being violated. Ya think Stenger was proud?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jason Jarvis June 25, 2017 at 10:59 am #

    Your article is right on point. The corruption must be called out and the corrupted removed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Greg Zotta June 26, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

    Voting NO on PDMP was the Right thing to do!
    Patrick Martin is the Editor of the Arnold-Imperial Leader Newspaper and is upset that the Jefferson County Council did not pass a Prescription Drug Monitoring Database, (PDMP). He wrote a scathing editorial in the May 4, 2017 edition titled, “Voting No on drug monitoring not just dumb—it’s dereliction of duty” chastising the four members of the Jefferson County Council who voted against the measure causing its defeat. The four members are District 1 Councilman Don Bickowski, District 2 Renee Reuter, District 3 Bob Boyer and District 4 Charles Groeteke. Their vote was not a dereliction of duty as he claims, but was the responsible thing to do. They should be commended for abiding by the oath they took to uphold the Constitution when they voted down the PDMP legislation.
    Martin wrote, “Sixty-nine people died in Jefferson County in 2016 from drug overdoses. To four members of the Jefferson County Council who voted against joining the PDMP, those deaths and the hundreds or thousands of people affected by them apparently are secondary to goose-stepping (is that a NAZI reference) to the Tea Party March.” Martin is calling for a recall petition against these four council members.
    It is obvious; Pat Martin is a typical leftist DemonRAT, who does not believe in the Constitution. Apparently, Martin is unaware that these elected representatives of Jefferson County, including Ken Waller, before taking office, “shall take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation” (79.260) before a court of record or the city clerk. The written oath is filed with the city clerk. Failure to take the oath vacates the office. “I, . . . ., do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Missouri”…
    Bickowski, Reuter, Boyer and Groeteke’s vote against PDMP shows is they take seriously that oath to uphold the Constitution. Evidently Executive Ken Waller and those supporting the PDMP do not. Since the Fourth Amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” So, the database is a violation of the people’s right to privacy. Whatever happened to doctor-patient confidentiality?
    Waller, who supports the database, claimed, “It’s sad that people just don’t do the right thing (vote for a PDMP). The bottom line is that it didn’t pass and more people are going to die and they are not going to do anything about it.” News Flash; people will die regardless of a PDMP. And No! The sad day is when an elected official wants to violate people’s rights and their oath of office.
    The supporters of the bill apparently have forgotten or are unaware about the NSA spying on American citizens, the IRS intimidation of Constitutional Tea Party groups and Governor Jay Nixon using the DOR to target gun owners. This is another database that will be used to control the people. If there IS a database, the Government can get access to it and can use the information against the people. Case in point, on 5/30/14, 203 Republicans and 117 Democrats, including Jefferson County’s US Representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer and Ann Wagner voted on an amendment H Amd 704 to HR 4660, a Federal bill wherein, if you take certain prescription drugs you would be banned from owning a gun. So, how would the government know without having access to the database? News Flash: any information in a computer can be hacked or retrieved, because that is the nature of the computer. Information is put in, so it can be taken out. (GIGO) And now some leaders in some counties are taking it upon themselves to set up their own databases in their counties.
    According to the April 20, 2017Arnold Imperial Leader article, Sue Curfman CEO and President of Comtrea, a drug rehab center, supports the PDMP stating, “How long are we going to wait for more people to die of drug overdoses and how many more people are going to become users before we do something?” Excuse me, but how is a PDMP going to get people to go to a rehab center for treatment? Answer, it doesn’t. Councilman Bikowski has Constitutional privacy rights issues with a PDMP to which she replied, “I appreciate your privacy concerns, but when you ask which doctors have received education, it may be a valid point, but it’s just wasting time.” In other words, a person’s Constitutional right to privacy is of no concern to her. She goes on stating, “Let us do what we do best. We do this (deal with drug abuse) every day. All we need from you is an ordinance that allows the county to join St. Louis County’s PDMP.” Again, how is a database going to get people to come to a rehab center for treatment? She then pulls out the NAZI card implying that if the council does not approve a PDMP they are NAZI’s, when she said, “Inaction on the matter (PDMP) is how the United States reacted to the Holocaust in Hitler’s Germany in World War II.” Apparently, she failed or did not have Civics class when it comes to the US Constitution and the people’s unalienable rights. Could it be she supports a PDMP in order to get grant money for her center from the federal government?
    Supporters claim there is an opioid and heroin epidemic in this country. They claim “Opioids” are a gateway to heroin and this law in Missouri will stop the heroin epidemic. Let’s see, this law has been enacted creating databases in the other 49 states to stop the opioid and heroin “epidemic”. So, with every other state having such a law and database why is there still an epidemic in this country? This law is/was to be a panacea to correct the problem. And another thing, what doctor is prescribing heroin for treatment and what pharmacy is filling that script? Answer, NONE. FYI most if not all of the heroin comes from Mexico.
    By having a PDMP supporters say it will save lives. Waller stated, “If we can save one life, wouldn’t that be worth it?” How so? Taking it a step further, Pat Martin said he will keep a running tally on drug overdose deaths in Jefferson County to lay at the feet the four members of the Jefferson County Council for their vote against a PDMP. Contrary to Martin’s contention a PDMP does not save lives. There are already TREATMENT Centers for people to go for treatment without a PDMP. Furthermore, there are ALREADY laws on the books regarding the abuse of these drugs by those using as well as those who are dealing in the drugs.
    According to Real Time Death Statistics database, which gets its information from the CDC, the current death toll was 4701 prescription drug overdose deaths and 7837 related to all drug abuse from January 1, 2017 to April 25, 2017. Unfortunately, this is in line with the 33,000 deaths attributed to heroin and opioid overdose deaths in 2015. Nonetheless, a PDMP would do nothing to prevent those deaths. Moreover, in the same time frame, January 1, 2017 to April 25, 2017, deaths from hospital associated infections were 31027 and medical errors were 78808. Buzz Westfall and Jack Snow were two prominent men from St. Louis who died from hospital associated infections. So, using the same logic of “if we can save one life, by setting up a PDMP, wouldn’t that be worth it,” should we be closing down all the hospitals? Of course not.
    We do not need any more laws such as the ones they are talking about setting up databases to combat the supposed “opioid epidemic.” Big Brother is already TOO BIG. Again, there is no need for more intrusion into people’s lives by government by creating this database with this type of legislation. There is also a bill in the Missouri legislature The Narcotics Control Act (NCA) that needs to be shown the light of day and defeated, along with any other counties that want to set up their own databases. Missouri is the only state that has it right. Let’s keep it that way. And Jefferson County has four members, District 1 Councilman Don Bickowski, District 2 Renee Reuter, District 3 Bob Boyer and District 4 Charles Groeteke, who follow the Constitution they swore to uphold and should be commended for it. Unlike, Jefferson County Executive Ken Waller who wants to disregard his oath to uphold the Constitution with his position on PDMP and should resign.
    Greg Zotta
    Imperial, MO

    Like

  4. Greg Zotta June 26, 2017 at 9:02 pm #

    It is not a Waller witch hunt
    What is going on in Jefferson County regarding Ken Waller is not a witch hunt. A witch hunt is when someone is unfairly accusing another of wrong doing when there is nothing there. A witch hunt is what the DemonRATS and the propaganda media are doing to President Trump with the Fake News about the Trump campaign and Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
    Waller was a party to a lawsuit in which he wanted more money for the job he was doing as County Executive when he knew what the job paid when he ran for office. Waller says it was not about the money, yet he had applied for the Festus Administrators job, which paid more money. If hired by Festus he would have to resign his position as executive and thus not complete his term. So it is about the money. Under pressure from the recall petition Waller removed his name from the suit. I do not begrudge anyone from making more money, if they earn it.
    My problem with Waller is not about the money, but rather his violation to his oath of office. Waller, like the council members, takes an oath to uphold and defend the US and Missouri Constitutions and the Jefferson County Charter and he has failed at that responsibility. The most recent violation was his support and end around of the JeffCo Council by the JeffCo Health Department concerning a PDMP.
    A PDMP violates a person’s privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment. It is not a “crock.” Apparently Mr. Martin, you are unaware or just do not care that there are more rights than just the First Amendment right of Freedom of the Press. The four council members should be commended for voting down the PDMP, because they were upholding their oath.

    Greg Zotta
    Imperial

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Waller Won’t Run Again; What’s Next? | Jefferson County Penknife - July 31, 2017

    […] He is the husband of one of Waller’s main foes on the county council, Renee Reuter. Waller kicked her out of the JeffCo seat on the East-West Gateway Board last month after she called him out for trying to […]

    Like

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: