Town and Country alderman censured over threatening e-mail

Town and Country alderman censured over threatening e-mail

Town and Country alderman censured over threatening e-mail

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The Associated Press

Posted on January 11, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 11 at 8:11 PM

TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. (AP) -- A suburban St. Louis alderman has been censured for an anonymous e-mail telling another alderman he "should be shot."

In fact, Town and Country alderman David Karney on Monday voted to censure himself. So did all of the other aldermen.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that Karney said the threatening e-mail came from his computer. He said he didn't send it, but admitted an error in judgment.

"I should have known better," he said.

Karney and a group of six residents met in his basement in October. They were angry at another alderman, Fred Meyland-Smith, for his support of sharpshooters to kill deer.

Karney said one of the angry residents got on a desktop computer in his basement and wrote the e-mail to Meyland-Smith, from an account Karney had created under the alias "Jeff Storehouse."

"You should be ashamed of yourself," it read. "The deer are what make Town and Country such a nice place to live. It's aldermen like you who should be shot."

Karney declined to identify the person who sent the e-mail, but would say only that it was a single mother who would lose her job if her employer found out.

"I deeply regret this decision and apologize for it," he said. "I promise it will never happen again."

The censure was ill-timed for Karney for a couple of reasons. He is up for re-election in April.

Meyland-Smith said he turned the e-mail over to police as soon as he received it.

"I think this was an irresponsible act, and unfortunately it has caused my family considerable distress," he said.

Meyland-Smith's son and daughter also addressed the board, saying they were frightened for their father's safety.

Police eventually used internet records to trace the account to a computer in Karney's home. Prosecutors declined to press charges.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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