DELLWOOD • The mayor of this municipality in north St. Louis County said Monday night he is ordering the municipal court to dismiss all traffic cases pending since before the St. Louis County Police Department took over patrols in the city on April 11, 2012.
Any arrest warrants for failing to appear in court will also be canceled, he said. He said he didn’t know the exact number, but he estimated thousands of cases would be thrown out.
Mayor Reggie Jones said the pardons, which will take effect on March 20, were “fair and proper justice.” Traffic tickets written by the defunct Dellwood Police Department were difficult to prosecute and were making people’s lives more challenging, he said.
He said he thought other cities’ amnesty programs, which canceled arrest warrants but still held defendants liable for the initial fine, weren’t doing enough. They “simply recycled individuals right back into the same system,” he said. “People come in and get the warrant lifted, but then they have no money to pay the fine.”
The city’s the Board of Aldermen voted in April 2012 to dissolve the city’s embattled police department.
The move came after an audit by county police found 121 cases from 2009 to 2011 — including burglaries, rapes and drug charges — where someone had been implicated in a crime in the city, but the casework inexplicably stopped.
Jones said he had authority as mayor to cancel the traffic cases, but said aldermen did not object when he informed them of his plan.
Jones said he also asked for and received the resignation of municipal prosecutor Ronald J. Brockmeyer.
Brockmeyer was criticized in a Justice Department report last week for his role as Ferguson’s judge. The report said Brockmeyer’s court was less focused on justice than on raising money for Ferguson.
Jones said he thought Brockmeyer had done a “decent” job as prosecutor.
“He was very compliant,” Jones said. “He understood.”