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Thursday, February 18, 2010

St. Louis Police Commissioner Springs Drunk Nephew From Jail, Delivers Him to Fancy Downtown Restaurant

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Vincent Bommarito in his restaurant Tony's - IMAGE VIA
  • Image Via
  • Vincent Bommarito in his restaurant Tony's
Those five measly DWI's the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department issued on Mardi Gras? Well, make that four measly DWI's.

One of the arrests was Christopher Campo, nephew to Vincent Bommarito, the proprietor of the esteemed downtown eatery Tony's and a member of the state-run St. Louis City Board of Police Commissioners.

Campo was pulled over Saturday evening in Soulard, arrested for driving while intoxicated and taken to jail. A cousin was in the car and he phoned Uncle Vince.

Uncle Vince then called the sergeant on-duty and kindly asked the officer to "get him out." The sergeant obliged and delivered the recently-arrested Campo to the front door of one of the fanciest restaurants in town.

Now, after some stellar reporting by the Post-Dispatch's Jake Wagman and Jeremy Kohler, Police Chief Dan Isom is calling Bommarito's conduct "highly inappropriate" and says that it resulted in "factual inconsistency and cover-up."

As Wagman and Kohler write in their story this morning on, the incident may have implications that extend beyond a small local scandal over some pulled strings.
The accusations against Bommarito come at an awkward time for the state-run Police Board, which is bruised from other scandals while facing a push by legislators in Jefferson City to turn over control to City Hall.
Ah yes, it was only Monday that Mayor Slay traveled to Jefferson City and made a pitch to state lawmakers to reverse a Civil War-era policy and put control of the SLMPD back in the hands of local officials. Writes the Post-Dispatch:
Epsten said that a copy of the chief's letter was forwarded to Gov. Jay Nixon, whose office appoints four of the five Police Board members; the fifth is always the mayor.

Jack Cardetti, a spokesman for Nixon, said in an e-mail Wednesday night that Nixon has reviewed the letter. "It contains serious allegations," Cardetti wrote. "Our office will work with Public Safety Director John Britt to ascertain the relevant facts and make a recommendation for appropriate action in an expeditious manner."

In the letter, Isom said that Bommarito's interference on behalf of his nephew may not be an isolated incident. An "unrelated situation of similar nature" occurred recently, Isom wrote.
Apparently Bommarito, appointed to the Board in 2007 by former Gov. Matt Blunt, also attempted to help another relative duck a city ordinance violation.

This is a far cry from the city police department's towing scandal but it may have significant repercussions in terms of the push for local police control. We'll keep you posted on any developments.

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