Bellefontaine Neighbors aldermen say they had to be fingerprinte -

Bellefontaine Neighbors aldermen say they had to be fingerprinted before taking office

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Bellefontaine Neighbors City Hall. Credit: KMOV Bellefontaine Neighbors City Hall. Credit: KMOV

Alease Dailes has served as an alderwoman in Bellefontaine Neighbors for two years. She says she was told she had to do something before she was sworn in that made her uncomfortable and now four recently elected members of the board of aldermen are being told they have to do it too.

"In order for me to take my seat I had to go through the process of being fingerprinted," said Dailes.

The newly elected officials were recently sent a list of things to do before taking office, from the city clerk, and one of them is to go to city hall to be fingerprinted.

Dailes said she was told by Police Chief Jeremy Ihler the fingerprinting and a background check was required by the FBI because elected officials would access areas where police records were kept. 

Both the Municipal League of St. Louis County and the Missouri Municipal League said they don't know of any cities in the state with such a requirement.

News 4 contacted Chief Ihler and he explained that the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division has laid out rules for safeguarding the privacy of information pertaining to criminal and court records. He said anyone working on or near computers that can access those types of records are required to pass a fingerprint background check.

But he said elected officials are not required to do fingerprint background checks.

"It's optional because if elected officials choose to want access to certain areas of the government building where there's criminal justice information, where they can be unescorted, then they would have to have a fingerprint background check," said Chief Ihler.

Dailes said she and other board members weren't told that the fingerprinting was optional. Chief Ihler said he'd be meeting with elected officials to clear up the confusion. 

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