Kinloch Mayor Allegedly Used City Money for Personal Travel, Bills

Robert Patrick and Elizabethe Holland, St. Louis Dispatch, May 24, 2011

For 12 years, Mayor Keith Conway has presided over a dying community.

The population of Kinloch, as high as 14,000 in the days it was known as “Little Harlem New York,” was down to 298 by the 2010 census. Much of the land was long ago taken in buyouts by nearby Lambert-St. Louis International Airport for noise abatement. Revenue shriveled, too.

To get it away from it all, federal prosecutors claim, Conway used some of the dwindling city funds to pay for airline flights to Las Vegas and his Palm Beach Shores Resorts & Vacation Villas time share in Florida, also purchased with taxpayers’ money.

He also used municipal money to pay $9,004 toward delinquent federal taxes, $1,000 of his credit card bill, bills for cruises to the Bahamas and more than $2,000 for the electric bill in his city-owned home in the 8000 block of Schoolway Avenue, according to a May 19 indictment unsealed Monday.

In all, Conway stole at least $25,000 from city coffers from January 2010 to March 31, 2011, according to prosecutors who say at least some of it came from a $90,000 federal grant in fiscal 2009 that was meant to pay for an extra police officer.

Conway, 47, was arrested Monday morning at City Hall, and arrived in federal court in St. Louis in jeans, hiking boots and a T-shirt with the words: “I’m the boss. No Questions. No Arguments. We’ll just do things my way. Orlando, FL.”

{snip}

A TAINTED HISTORY

The city has been dogged for years by allegations of fraud, corruption and mismanagement.

Since the 1960s, aldermen have repeatedly complained about inaction by the police department, and officers complained about meddling. {snip}

In 1972, then-Acting Chief Arie Lindsey said he was suspended after he uncovered evidence that some officers and city officials were running a stolen auto “chop shop” and misappropriating city funds.

Cars and a trailer used by county police as a headquarters there were firebombed, and city and police officials were arrested at various times by various agencies.

In 1990, some former police officers and employees of a security company claimed that Kinloch police were protecting drug dealers. {snip}

The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations filed a misdemeanor charge against Conway in 2009 for allegedly violating a statute requiring liability and workers’ compensation insurance.

THE MAYOR

{snip}

Despite Conway’s “Save Our City Campaign” that dates at least as far back as 2001, the city continued to decline.

No copy of the budget was available at City Hall on Monday. The city has not submitted a budget, as required, to the Missouri auditor’s office since 2006.

That year, Kinloch reported revenue of more than $500,000, including $210,000 from apartment rental income. The city spent $310,000 on salaries and more than $90,000 on debt payments.

The Post-Dispatch estimated that Kinloch earned roughly $100,000 last year from sales and property taxes and other sources, not including revenue from utilities taxes, fees and fines or grants.

In 2010, Conway told a reporter that the city had received $2 million of a promised $5 million from St. Louis County. The money, in exchange for 198 acres of city land for the NorthPark development, was supposed to fund major public improvements.

Conway said the city used about $200,000 for a historic district and the rest to pay off debts and fund day-to-day operations. The historic district includes a “Walk of Fame” showcasing famous area residents. Many of the 80 available plaques are boarded up, awaiting a name, but Conway and aldermen have already gotten spots.

{snip}

mayor

Mayor Keith Conway.

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  • sbuffalonative

    There is no difference between a black despot in Africa and a black despot in America because black behavior is universal.

  • Question Diversity

    The last time the Post-Dispatch did a long spread on Kinloch was almost ten years ago. It was mainly centered around the black owner of a small corner snack shop, who had to dispatch one of his rivals in self-defense. In passing, the article stated that he had something like 54 children by 32 women. I’m guessing none of them or nobody on their behalf ever sued him for child support.

  • Anonymous

    Hometown of Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

    Begun as a Scam…

    >

    The current city of Kinloch developed from the 1890s Kinloch Park commuter suburb. A Mrs. “B” and her husband were rumored to be the first black family to purchase a home in Kinloch Park. As soon as the neighbors discovered the new owners were black they sold their properties and new sales to permanent white resident of south Kinloch Park ceased. In a few years, more than 30 black families had bought into a 6 block area which became called South Kinloch Park.[4] Kinloch, as an African American community, developed out of a land purchase model similar to Brooklyn, Illinois model.[5] Since it was not legal to sell directly to blacks, the Olive Street Terrace Realty Corporation sold the parcels to whites on average for $150 who then in turn privately sold the plots to blacks on average for $350.[6] This allowed the company to use the white people’s loans as collateral for further bank notes. To get white investors, the company circulated testimonials of investors who paid in $50 towards a parcel and received a $500 to a $1000 return on the investment.[4] In an advertisement to The Argus, Olive Street Terrace Realty states:

    >

    Demography Is Destiny…

    >

    The racial makeup of the city was 1.78% White, 96.44% African American, 0.67% Native American, 0.22% Asian, and 0.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.67% of the population.

    There were 157 households out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 14.0% were married couples living together, 50.3% had a female householder with no husband present…

    >

    http://goo.gl/FQUt9

    Most interesting thing about the place is the airport and the number of pioneering firsts it racked up in terms of control tower, presidential flights, airmail and airlift of animals.

  • Anonymous

    Poster #2 you are obviously a races. No one but a Saudi oil sheik could afford to have 54 children. Mr. Singleton would have to hire help just to raise that many children, as well as work 2 full time jobs to support them. Scroll down and look under the caption “The Businessman”. Mr. Singleton only had 31 children, not 54.

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=130547&referrerid=36767

    I can’t speak from experience (and I haven’t been able to find any of my friends who could speak from experience as well), but I’m sure a mere 31 children are much more manageable to raise into upstanding citizens than 54.

  • kgb

    FTA —

    The city has been dogged for years by allegations of fraud, corruption and mismanagement.

    Since the 1960s, aldermen have repeatedly complained about inaction by the police department, and officers complained about meddling.

    In 1972, then-Acting Chief Arie Lindsey said he was suspended after he uncovered evidence that some officers and city officials were running a stolen auto “chop shop” and misappropriating city funds.

    Cars and a trailer used by county police as a headquarters there were firebombed, and city and police officials were arrested at various times by various agencies.

    In 1990, some former police officers and employees of a security company claimed that Kinloch police were protecting drug dealers.

    Let me guess — all of them as brown as a pile of coffee beans.