PINE LAWN (KMOV.com) - Anthony Gray seemed to be everywhere. As an attorney for Mike Brown's family, Gray received international attention, blasting the city of Ferguson and insisting Officer Darren Wilson should be arrested for killing Brown.
However, at the same time Gray was turning up the heat on Ferguson, he was also the Director of Public Safety, and commonly referred to as the police chief, of nearby Pine Lawn. Pine Lawn is a small, impoverished, nearly all black community with a police department widely considered to be one of the worst in the St. Louis region.
Gray was in charge of the Pine Lawn Police Department for most of 2014. His top commander was Steve Blakeney, a cop who has been accused of raping one woman, punching another, and was accused of harassing residents who repeatedly filed complaints against him. Blakeney has denied all the allegations made against him.
Gray did not provide a comment to News 4 on the accusations about Blakeney is facing.
Thursday, Blakeney sent News 4 a copy of a lawsuit naming Pine Lawn and former City Manager Brian Krueger as defendants. In it, he argues that he was fired because he was a whistleblower that helped build the criminal case that prompted indictments against current Pine Lawn Mayor Sylvester Caldwell. The suit also focuses on the role of Anthony Gray.
The suit says Pine Lawn provided up to 10 police officers for "riot control" in Ferguson. However, in November, when the decision of the grand jury in the Michael Brown case was announced, Gray allegedly told Blakeney that "he wanted no Pine Lawn officers in Ferguson."
Blakeney claims Pine Lawn officers received supplies and months of training to assist Ferguson police, but Gray didn't want them there after the grand jury decision was announced. Blakeney says he told Gray he had a conflict of interest, but Gray said there was no conflict.
Before becoming Pine Lawn's equivalent of a police chief, Gray was the city prosecutor, a critical role in the town’s approach to collecting massive amounts of money through its municipal court. He has now resumed his role as the town’s prosecutor. In 2013 and 2014, Pine Lawn collected $3.5 million in court fines and fees, which accounted for almost half the city's general revenue.
When asked by News 4 if he thought Pine Lawn was collecting too much money in fines, Gray responded with “no comment.”