NS. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – City of St. Louis and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt are at odds over millions of dollars that could be spent on public safety.
Mayors Tishaura Jones and Schmitt differ on how to use $5.5 million from a settlement. The city owes the state money in a 1982 wrongful conviction settlement for George Allen, the bill is due in September but Schmitt says the city can keep the money if it is used. used to hire more police at the end of the financial year. year.
Allen was sentenced to life in prison for killing a woman near Soulard. A judge announced that conviction because the state failed to disclose some of the evidence. Allen died in 2016. His family later sued the state for wrongful conviction and won. While the state paid the lawsuit, the City of St. Louis will still have to pay the state $5.5 million.
Second, Jones and the city responded with a three-pronged approach on how to use money for public safety that doesn’t include hiring new officers. She wants Schmitt to St. Louis uses this money to create more hiring incentives for 911 dispatchers, create more incentives for first responders to opt in and receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and while improving mental health resources for officers. Jones says she hopes to work with Schmitt to use the money effectively.
“We’re also asking for the option to use these funds over many years to invest in the welfare of our first responders, not just in the remaining seven months of the budget year. These solutions. not just within the parameters required by the Attorney General, they will say Jones.
Schmitt’s office said the city did not have any negatives in changing the way the money is distributed. His office released the following statement:
“Based on a Supreme Court ruling this summer, the City of St. Louis owes us millions of dollars for past legal work. Out of respect for the men and women of law enforcement. and our deep commitment to the City of St. Louis, we graciously offered to put this money into hiring more officers on the ground to patrol the city and fight violent crime. It’s sad that the mayor has taken this as a political issue and that hiring more police doesn’t fit the agenda of the mayor of the murderous capital of the United States. We will continue to fight for safety. of all 6 million Missourians.”
Schmitt’s office said it was not immediately clear whether the city would still owe the money if the money wasn’t used to hire more staff.
“I hope he’s serious about giving our first responders the support they need. I hope he’s serious about helping us fix the broken 911 system, and I do. Hopefully he’s serious about helping more police and firefighters get vaccinated and protected against COVID-19,” Jones said.
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