The Case of the Prosecutor's Pot Plants

Sep 21, 2006 at 4:21 pm

Someone else's homegrown
St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas confirms that he placed an assistant prosecutor, Ella Boone Conley, on administrative leave last month after police found "a substantial amount of marijuana" at her home.
The St. Charles Regional Drug Task Force confiscated the drugs on August 24 at the Portage des Sioux residence that Boone Conley, who turns 44 tomorrow, shares with her husband, 42-year-old Max Conley. The cache was rumored among sources who work with the St. Charles County Circuit Court to consist of 300 marijuana plants growing in and around the property. According to county records, the couple lives in a three-bedroom ranch on Pawnee Drive that sits on 1.77 acres and is owned by Lavetta Hanes of Lake Wales, Florida.
Banas declined to supply details regarding the open investigation but says he sent Boone Conley home from her desk in the criminal child-support division on the morning of August 25 immediately after being alerted to the search. Neither Boone Conley nor her husband was arrested, and so far no charges have been filed. Per Banas' request, the City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney has been assigned the case as special prosecutor.
Banas declined to comment on Boone Conley's job performance. She has worked as a St. Charles prosecutor since 1993, earning an annual salary of $70,388 in 2006, and previously tried felonies. In 1999 Boone Conley prosecuted a case involving a St. Charles victim of St. Louis' notorious "South Side Rapist," Dennis Rabbitt. Earlier this year she vied for an associate circuit judgeship but lost the GOP's August primary to Norman Steimel III.
Boone Conley and her husband did not return a telephone call requesting comment. -Kristen Hinman