Poll: Will Police Chief Joe Mokwa be Fired?

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Joe Mokwa has come under fire for the police department's dealings with a contracted towing firm that allegedly gave out cars to officers -- and to Mokwa's daughter, Aimie Mokwa -- for extended "test drives."

Will Mokwa come away from this debacle with his job intact or be fired?

Aimie Mokwa -- heard of her before? -- was named in a Post-Dispatch story over the weekend as a person who "test drove" a police-impounded car for ten months.

Aimie doesn't have the best drug or driving record, according to reports over the years.

The report of the "test drives" was snuck out on Friday. It hit the papers on Saturday, the slowest news day of the week. The daily paper published a front-pager on Sunday. On Monday the state Board of Police Commissioners -- which includes the mayor and four people appointed by the governor -- backpedaled on the part of the report released Friday that stated Mokwa didn't do anything illegal.

The Post-Dispatch, as it was quick to point out several times (watchers of The Wire can pat themselves on the back for spotting a sly awards campaign), noted that it was the paper that reported Aimie Mokwa's ten-month test drive of several impounded cars over several years.

So on Monday the board said maybe Chief Joe had known more than he was letting on.

And there he was on Tuesday afternoon at a press conference.

He apologized. (More or less.)

Will Chief Joe get canned? Looking at the way other public officials who come under intense heat are treated in St. Louis (think heat, think former Fire Chief Sherman George), maybe. The fire chief, of course, serves at the pleasure of Mayor Francis Slay, while the police chief's job is under borader discretion.

Aimie's story so far is a sad one by any account -- reports of her being abused by her cop husband surfaced in a 2004 story, "World of Hurt," by then-RFT staff writer Bruce Rushton.

Now her dad's might have an unhappy outcome as well.

-Nick Lucchesi

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