Court rules against St. Louis police in ticket scandal

ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis police department will have to turn over records from its probe into a scandal over 2006 World Series tickets now that the Missouri Supreme Court has thrown out a final appeal that sought to block the documents' release.

The state high court's ruling on Tuesday upholds decisions by a St. Louis judge and a state appellate court who ordered the release of records from the department's investigation of officers who gave tickets that had been confiscated from scalpers to friends and family.

''This ends it,'' Neil Bruntrager, a lawyer for the officers, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( ) for a story Thursday. ''We certainly are disappointed. There are privacy issues at play.''

Eight officers and six supervisors were disciplined for giving away the tickets to the three games played in St. Louis during the series, in which the Cardinals defeated the Detroit Tigers in five games. But the police department refused to turn over the records of its internal probe, leading the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri to sue, saying the records should be released under Missouri's Sunshine Law.

Anthony Rothert, the ACLU branch's legal director, said he was pleased that the court ''finally has put an end to this.''

''It's a win, but also a bit of a loss, because the public had to wait eight years to see something they should have had long ago,'' said Rothert, adding that the ACLU plans to copy the reports and put them on its website.

Police said the investigation began with a complaint from someone who said his confiscated tickets were used improperly during the World Series. Joe Mokwa, the police chief at the time, said the incident shook the public's trust in the department.

The exact number of confiscated tickets that were given away isn't known, but each had a value ranging from $50 to $250.

The internal affairs documents are being held by the circuit court.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

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