Vincent Bommarito accused of getting nephew off DWI charge during Mardi Gras

11:18 PM, Feb 17, 2010   |    comments
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Vincent Bommarito.

KSDK -- Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is being asked to referee a growing dispute among top brass in the St. Louis Police Department.

The city's police chief suggests there could be a cover up involving police officers and a member of the city's police board.

St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom accuses Police Commissioner Vincent Bommarito of "highly inappropriate" conduct. But Bommarito insists he's done nothing wrong.

"I get a call from one of my nephews that another nephew was being put in jail," said Bommarito.

Saturday night Bommarito says he was at Tony's, the restaurant he owns in downtown St. Louis, when he learned his 47-year-old nephew had been arrested, suspected of driving drunk in Soulard after the Mardi Gras parade there.

"So I called and said, 'Can you get my nephew out of jail?' And that's what the whole thing is about," said Bommarito.

With his restaurant packed for Valentine's weekend, Bommarito says he felt unable to leave, so he called a police sergeant near his home and asked for help. Bommarito insists he did not order police to do anything.

"That's all I wanted to do, I wanted to get him out. I didn't give no details. I figured the police would take care of that in an appropriate manner. I'm sure if there's anything say he's got to go to court, or whatever they tell me, I would have sent him to court. We didn't even get into that and they released him," said Bommarito.

But in a letter to the Police Board, Police Chief Isom suggests Bommarito instructed a sergeant to "intercede." And the chief says the nephew was released to that sergeant's custody. After that, Isom says "accounts suggest factual inconsistency and cover up."

Isom also says this is not the first time Bommarito has used his position to influence the outcome of police investigations. Bommarito refutes all of this.

"They drove me home one time because I got my car stuck in the snow that's about the only thing I can remember," said Bommarito.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay supports Chief Isom in bringing his concerns to the police board, but says the following about Bommarito:

"(He's) somebody who I've got a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for. But these allegations are very serious," said Slay.

"I'll make sure that my department of public safety looks into this matter," said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

Chief Isom's letter has been forwarded to the Governor who is ultimately responsible for looking into the situation and taking action if necessary. Vincent Bommarito is also sending a letter to the Governor's office.  Read Chief Dan Isom's letter to the police board.


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