Dooley: I did not know about Devin James' criminal past -

Dooley: I did not know about Devin James' criminal past

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By Daniel Fredman By Daniel Fredman

( – St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley told News 4 he was unaware that a man hired to lead the public relations campaign for Ferguson after the Michael Brown, Jr shooting had a criminal past.

Devin James was hired by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership (previously known as the St. Louis County Economic Council) and later hired by Ferguson to handle public relations for the city after the shooting death of Brown. James was later fired by the partnership after it was revealed he was convicted for reckless homicide for a shooting that occurred 2004. James told News 4 he was upfront about his past and even said Dooley was aware. James also showed News 4 a photo taken with Dooley and himself.

“I pose with people at different functions all during the year, that doesn’t mean I knew him,” Dooley said.

Dooley said he has little involvement with the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.


Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said James was upfront about his past. Knowles said James background was one of the reasons why the city wanted to work with him, to counter criticism that city officials are out of touch with people who may have a criminal record but are trying to turn their lives around.

See original story below:

FERGUSON, Mo. ( – The man leading the controversial public relations campaign for Ferguson is now the focus of controversy himself. Devin James was fired Thursday after his criminal background came into light.

Devin James acknowledges that he was convicted of reckless homicide years ago after killing a man he said broke into his home.  James’ main contract was with St. Louis Economic Development Council.  

County Executive Charlie Dooley says he knew nothing of James’ past and only met James a few days ago.  James, however, says otherwise.   James said he had worked with Dooley for years, and that Dooley knew he was a felon, but that's not what Dooley's spokeswoman told News 4 Friday, by denying any knowledge.
A picture on social media shows Devin James with Charlie Dooley 9 weeks ago, two months earlier than Dooley claims he first met James.  James says he posed for the picture with Dooley at a fundraiser several years ago. Dooley, through his spokeswoman Pat Washington, claims the County Executive didn't meet James until 5 or 6 days ago.
James said he was fired Thursday after his criminal history was revealed by the Post-Dispatch. He says he was told Dooley and Development Council CEO Denny Coleman made the decision based on his criminal record, even though James insists they knew that already.
News 4 made repeated requests to interview Coleman and Dooley, even showing up at Dooley's office.

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