Former Pine Lawn lieutenant pleads not guilty to civil rights ch -

Former Pine Lawn lieutenant pleads not guilty to civil rights charges

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PINE LAWN, Mo. ( – A former lieutenant of the Pine Lawn Police Department pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he violated the civil rights of a former mayoral candidate.

Steven Blakeney, 34, is accused of conspiring with others to cause the arrest of a mayoral candidate for the city in 2013.

The indictment states that on March 31, 2013, Blakeney conspired with others to cause the arrest of the mayoral candidate without probable cause and based on false allegations. The indictment continues by stating that Blakeney ordered somebody to falsely report the mayoral candidate had stolen a campaign poster from a local business, causing the candidate's arrest.

Last week, a federal grand jury indicted Blakeney on one felony count of conspiracy against rights, one count of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of falsification records. Blakeney was taken into custody and later released.

The maximum penalty Blakeney could face includes 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000. 

According to Pine Lawn officials, Blakeney was fired after paying overtime to an officer to pick up two who allegedly passed out at his home. He was previously accused of raping one woman, punching another and stealing government property. 

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