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Brentwood Aldermen Agree to 'Consider' Legal Action Against Chris Seemayer

A vote in last night's meeting made it possible to put the discussion on the agenda of a future meeting. Seemayer's pension, when he reaches 60, is what's at stake.

Close to a hundred residents were ready for something to go their way at the board of aldermen meeting last night.

They got it at the very end, when alderwoman Maureen Saunders made a motion in an almost “oh by the way” fashion, in the meeting at the Brentwood Recreation Center.

“And another thing,” she said, after agreeing to a time change for a joint ward meeting, “In listening to the residents, I am going to go ahead and make a motion that this board pursue civil action against Chris Seemayer.”

When Seemayer was found guilty last year of embezzling $30,000 from the city of Brentwood to pay gambling debts, he was allowed to resign instead of being fired, making it possible for him to get sick and vacation pay, and receive an almost $36,000 a year pension, to begin when he reaches 60.

In public comments, residents told the board how they felt about , spending up to $40,000 on a new car for the city administrator, raising the sewer lateral fee from $40 to $50 a year, overpaying firefighters for overtime in the past, paying city employees more that what comparable cities pay, and the fountain on Eager Road that requires $20,000 a year to maintain.

Resident Barry Williams launched into how the board let Seemayer leave the city after being convicted.

“Instead of firing (Seemayer) and trying to recoup the taxpayers’ money we did the opposite. You did. You did,” he said. “This body did the opposite.”

“At a time when our fiscal situation is not good, it’s hard to explain how this city is not trying to get that money back,” he said. “We need that money.”

He said the city can’t recoup the sick and vacation pay, but the pension can be stopped.

“I really would like to see this city launch a civil law suit,” Williams said. “He is not getting any of that pension.”

Mayor Pat Kelly defended how the city handled Seemayer.

“At the point he was arrested, of the $30,000, he had already paid back $15,000,” Kelly said. “As part of the settlement he paid an additional $15,000 to reimburse the city for all the funds he had taken, at which time he also gave up around half of his accrued vacation and sick leave days in order to cover our legal expanses.”

There was no ‘old business,’ so Saunders made her motion to pursue legal action against Chris Seemayer in ‘new business.’

After it was seconded, Kelly said it was a legal action that needed to be discussed later in executive session, and couldn’t be voted on in the public meeting.

City attorney Frank Albrecht said it couldn’t be discussed in the executive session because the agenda had already been set.

Alderman Andy Leahy suggested altering the motion, making it 'considering' pursuing legal action, which meant that if passed, the discussion could be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

It passed with a “yes” from every alderman, followed by applause from the residents.

Also in Patch:

RDBet September 13, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Found this on the internets -from the MO State Retirement system info. I think the key word is "elected' official. Still unclear on non-elected. Not an attorney here either. Legal costs should be a consideration with this civil action. Forfeiture of Service ?104.1084.8 Any elected state official convicted of a felony committed in connection with his/her duties as an elected state official will forfeit any credit for service rendered on or after August 28, 1999.
Geoff Peterson September 14, 2012 at 01:51 AM
How about a fun activity to unite all Brentwoodians and solve the low cash reserve problem? How about a "Maddenfest Dunk-the-Alderman Booth"? Uh, and "Alderwomen" too. "Alderpersons"? "Alderpeople"? Da*n political correctness...
Geoff Peterson September 14, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I can understand why others dislike commenters using pseudonyms, but you, Doug, work for an organization (The Patch) that allows such aliases, and you shouldn’t criticize anyone who does so.   On the other hand, you seem to be comfortable with Mr. Completely’s comments and have even complimented him on his contributions.  (My apologies to Mr. Completely if that is your real name.)   Perhaps we should follow Doug’s lead regarding Mr. Completely’s comments:  Evaluate and praise or criticize anyone’s comments for the worthiness of their content, rather than immediately prejudging based on the moniker that the Patch lets them choose.
truthwillprevail September 15, 2012 at 03:06 PM
The point I was really trying to make is this....information is very powerful and is a tool that can be used in a positive manner or can be used to destroy. It is just interesting to note the difference in style and overall tone in stories that are covered in the Post-Dispatch vs the Patch. For example, www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/brentwood-to-end-health-insurance-for-elected-officials/article_b9383f46-cfc6-11e1-8640-0019bb30f31a.html I have just noticed a trend over the past couple of months (by following both publications), that the Patch tends to be biased by something. It concerns me that information is being thrown around in a way that is many times taken out of context or is not presented in a more unbiased fashion. I think all Brentwoodians deserve to have as much information and as many flyers sent to them as possible. I would just like to see the information not sensationalized.....it is difficult to tackle real problems when facts are skewed and emotions take over. There are great things happening in Brentwood and the potential for even greater things in the future. It just saddens me that it appears that in the name of "transparency", there seems to be a group that only want to look at certain practices or promote some type of vendetta. I can be more understanding of this on an individual basis (since all individuals have the right to believe and act as they choose), but feel like the press should be held to a higher standard.
Geoff Peterson September 17, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Well, it looks like the Library's website posted the most recent meeting minutes (http://brentwood.lib.mo.us/node/1725). Not sure how to frame those minutes in context of the contradicting allegations in this thread, the Library tax article thread and the Board of Alderman and Ways and Means minutes. Anyone care to take a stab at it? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

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