(KMOV.com) - In just the last three years, the former Deputy Chief of Police in Pine Lawn has been accused of raping one woman, punching a second woman and stealing government property, but that's not he was fired by the city.
Pine lawn officials said Steve Blakeney was fired because he paid overtime to an officer to pick up two women who allegedly passed out at his home. Whatever the reason, his critics say he should have been fired long ago.
Blakeney fought get his old job back during a closed door appeals meeting before the city's Board of Aldermen. He lost.
Michael Brunton, Blakeney's attorney, implied his client was fired because he was a federal witness against the city's mayor, who was indicted for allegedly extorting money from local businesses.
“The mayor was arraigned September 29th and on the same day it was discovered that Mr. Blakeney was the individual who cooperated with the FBI against the mayor he had his duties stripped and has been harassed,” said Brunton.
Blakeney has repeatedly insisted he's the victim, but sources tell News 4 Investigates that the FBI is also investigating complaints made against him.
Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said many officers are unsure if Blakeney should be in law enforcement at all.
“There's always been many questions in the law enforcement community about whether he (Blakeney) should be a law enforcement officer," said Fitch.
In just the last three years, while he was getting promoted from officer to Deputy Chief, Blakeney has been accused of a rape, faced an unrelated allegation of physical assault against a woman and a man, and he's alleged to have taken a license plate from Pine Lawn for use it on a personal vehicle that News 4 found parked in a driveway.
“The reputation that he (Blakeney) had in the law enforcement community is one that he shouldn't be carrying a badge and a gun,” said Fitch.
In 2012, a woman alleged that Blakeney raped her at the Union Station Marriott Hotel. Blakeney was taken into custody, but he repeatedly denied the allegations, claiming the sex was consensual. St. Charles County police investigated allegations of sexual misconduct against Blakeney in 2006. No charges were brought in either case.
In fall 2014, Blakeney was outside The Flamingo, a downtown St. Louis bar when a woman claimed that Blakeney tried to talk her into getting in his car. She refused. She alleges Blakeney punched her and her male friend in the mouth. Blakeney again denied the allegations. No charges have been filed.
Recently, the Pine Lawn police identified a license plate they claimed was stolen from the city police department. It was the same license plate that News 4 photographed on a personal car in Blakeney's driveway.
The plate belonged to Danielle Pettis, who showed News 4 her registration, which clearly identified the same plate that News 4 spotted on the pickup at Blakeney's house. Pine Lawn PD had taken the plates from her after the DMV claimed she hadn't paid for them. Pettis said her check bounced because someone hacked her bank account. She cleared up the mess and has new plates.
"I just don't want him to get away with it. I just want it to be over with and want something done about it and not swept up under the rug" said Pettis.
It's not the first time Blakeney has been accused of using a license plate that didn't belong to him. During the investigation of the assault outside the Flamingo, Blakeney told St. Louis City police that the plates on his car at the time weren't his personal license plates, insisting they came from a pool of license plates for unmarked Pine Lawn police vehicles, even though his own department later filed an incident report and called the plates on this vehicle "stolen."
Carolyn Daughterty says she has been repeatedly harassed, ticketed, fined, and even jailed for minor traffic related violations because Blakeney and Pine Lawn’s Mayor dislike her brother. Like other residents who spoke to us off camera, Daugherty believes the police, especially under Blakeney's command, showed little interest in protecting and serving the small, impoverished community.
“He took advantage of his position I think" said Daughterty. She has also filed at least 12 complaints against Blakeney.
News 4 Investigates has also learned that a judge has issued full orders of protection against Blakeney designed to keep him away from his ex-wife and her fiancé. In 2013, a judge in the case found "substantial evidence" that Blakeney stalked and threatened to shoot the man who is now engaged to Blakeney's ex-wife.
Blakeney denies the allegations. He has also sued the city of Pine Lawn.
See original story below:
(KMOV.com) - A former Pine Lawn officer wants to clear his name.
Former Lieutenant Steven Blakeney is accused of taking two women to his house and paying another officer overtime to take them home.
Pine Lawn City Manager Brian Krueger did not want to speak on camera but gave News 4 a set of city documents including statements from the women, and the officer who alleges he was paid overtime to pick two women up from Steven Blakeney’s residence and take them home.
The women said they met Blakeney at a bar in St. Charles. One of the women knew him. They sat down and he bought them two rounds of drinks. They both allege they eventually blacked out and woke up at Blakeney’s home.
The city alleges he paid an officer overtime to drive them home in the morning.
“It’s just not true,” said attorney Michael Brunton, who represents Blakeney.
Brunton said it is not fair that personnel documents related to his client has been released to media.
In a statement released by Krueger, the city said “due to the misinformation circulated relating to the reason for Lt. Steven Blakeney’s termination the city is compelled to explain its position.”
“It’s not Mr. Blakeney who is doing this. I think it is news from other sources. Mr. Blakeney is not responsible for this, the fact that the city manager is presenting this stuff about a personnel matter will result in defamation suit against him,” said Brunton.
Brunton also said Blakney has been harassed by the city since September.
“In Sept, 2014 the mayor was indicted and it was found out Lt Blakeney was cooperating with the FBI in the investigation, ever since then the city of Pine Lawn has retaliated against him,” Brunton said.
Also in the statement released by the city, Krueger highlights “The claim that Blakeney’s termination was somehow retaliation for his alleged participation as a witness against the mayor is without basis in truth.”