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Mormon moment

History Museum land deal examined Site of struggling restaurant belonging to former mayor Bosley was not appraised before purchase, audit shows. BY STEPHEN DEERE > 314-340-8116 AND DAVID HUNN > 314-436-2239

ST. LOUIS • Robert Archibald, presi-


Storm clouds roll over the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kansas City last month. The temple was dedicated on May 6. Joseph Smith, who founded the Mormon religion in the 1830s, sought to rebuild the early Christian church. BY TIM TOWNSEND 314-340-8221

INDEPENDENCE, MO. • With a stark white statue of Jesus — his arms stretched out before him, palms up in invitation — four missionaries sing hymns to carry a message Mormons have been trying to get across for generations. They work six days a week at the visitors center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, declaring to all who will stop and listen that they worship Jesus Christ. And yet the missionaries work against a backdrop far bigger than an 8-foot-tall likeness of Christ. The young women are on peculiar soil, just feet from a small, scrubby plot of land sacred only within Mormonism. It’s a setting that in some ways distracts from their effort to draw ties between Mormons and other Christians. See MORMONS • Page A12

Romney’s run spotlights tension over faith’s distinctive beliefs — and Missouri is at the center of many.

dent of the Missouri History Museum, says he had a vision six years ago of creating a community center along Delmar Boulevard, bridging racial divides and uniting residents through history. So, he says, he pushed for the purchase of a one-acre property on Delmar. The parcel was owned by the city’s former mayor, Freeman Bosley Jr., and it was the site of a struggling barbecue restaurant that Bosley and a partner had opened. They had taken out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans and owed at least three years of back property taxes. Then, the museum paid $875,000 for the property in 2006. It did so without a common practice in real estate deals — getting an appraisal. On top of the purchase price, the museum paid nearly $101,000 for legal fees, environmental assessments and other costs. The museum paid off the $16,000 in back property taxes that Bosley and his partner owed, according to city records. See MUSEUM • Page A6

Storybook ending

Mormon teenagers dance the Macarena at the Kansas City Temple ward during a youth night at the church one weekend last month.

Adam-ondi-Ahman • Obscure plot in Missouri represents both beginning,end of human time.A13 •


Ride of the Century roars through area — with police scrutiny roads and drivers complaining about bikers doing stunts and running red lights. Police were patrolling highways to prevent a repeat of last year’s ride weekend, when an estimated 2,500 bikers buzzed area highways, performing stunts, startling drivers and weaving through traffic. There were a few incidents and arrests, but Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman Trooper Juston Wheetley said no serious injuries had been reported as of late Saturday afternoon. There was no tally of

Motorcyclist Omar Perez (left) of Albany, N.Y., makes a call to a friend Saturday as Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Shannon Crouch (center) and Trooper Brent Moore inspect Perez’s bike for violations. The police were checking to make sure the bike was legal, not stolen and had its proper paperwork.

See BIKERS • Page A3

BY SHANE ANTHONY • > 314-340-8169

ST. LOUIS • A huge group of motorcyclists rode through the St. Louis area on their annual controversial ride Saturday, as police kept a close eye. Police presence was visible but not heavy as the bikers gathered at midafternoon near the flood wall along the Mississippi River just south of the Gateway Arch for the 10th Streetfighterz Ride of the Century. A helicopter hovered overhead; some of the bikers waved at it. Elsewhere, scanners were busy with reports of groups of motorcycles on area

Vol. 134, No. 260 ©2012


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History Museum property


Des Peres

The community center dream has long been abandoned, but it still cost the museum nearly $1 million. Today, the restaurant has been razed, and the city values the property at $232,300. All the museum has to show for its investment is an abandoned patch of asphalt between Goodfellow Boulevard and Hamilton Avenue. Bosley said that he never listed his property for sale and that the purchase came about through conversations with Archibald. Still, both men deny that personal or political connections influenced the purchase. “I’m sure people will say that,” Bosley acknowledged, but he added that “forward-thinking” people would have said it was a good investment. Archibald said he now realized that “an appraisal might have been prudent, given hindsight.” The purchase was highlighted in a recent audit of History Museum finances commissioned by the St. Louis Zoo-Museum District. The district’s eight-member board represents property taxpayers of St. Louis and St. Louis County, who pay about $70 million a year to help fund the History Museum, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center and St. Louis Zoo. “You just don’t not get an appraisal,” said Gloria Wessels, who sits on the St. Louis Zoo-Museum District board. Charles Valier, another district board member, also questioned the lack of an appraisal, saying the purchase involved “a fairly politically significant individual. A public institution has to take precautions in those kinds of situations.” History Museum officials say they plan to eventually sell the land, perhaps when the real estate market improves. One member of the board of trustees, real estate broker Elizabeth Robb, said she was confident the museum wouldn’t lose money on the deal. “I think it’s worth in the mid($800,000)” range, Robb said. “I


The community center plan has been dropped; the site, which cost the museum nearly $1 million, is now valued at $232,300

St. Louis

Forest Park Pkw



Forest Park

Missouri History Museum Post-Dispatch


The Missouri History Museum spent $875,000 in 2006 for this site on Delmar Boulevard; it now plans to sell.

don’t think we are upside down on this one at all.”


Real estate records show Bosley and his business partner, James Armstrong, bought a 1.65-acre parcel along Delmar in 1999 for $150,000. It was previously home to a McDonald’s restaurant. The two opened Big Jake’s Bar-B-Que on the site and, in subsequent years, took out at least three loans. The first was for $475,000 in 2002 from the now-closed Gateway National Bank of St. Louis, according to city records. That same year, they split off a portion of the property on which to build and sell three homes. The restaurant sat on the remaining acre. The partners later got two additional loans, for $185,000 in 2003 and $70,000 in 2004, from the St. Louis Local Development Co., a branch of the city’s development arm. Both loans were for the restaurant, according to the loan documents. Bosley and Armstrong weren’t required to pay back those loans so long as they met various requirements, including creating at least six jobs and staying in business for a certain number of years. In the end, they paid back only $42,500.

Bosley said that the restaurant never really took off but that “we were able to keep the doors open.” The restaurant lost $18,500 in its first six months, according to city records. The city’s Collector of Revenue later sued the partners over at least three years of unpaid property taxes. When he heard that the History Museum was looking for a location for a community center, Bosley said, he told Archibald he was interested in selling the property. The two were not strangers. Archibald, leader of the History Museum since 1988, served on the city’s School Board from 2003 to 2007. Bosley was St. Louis mayor from 1993 to 1997, and today works as an attorney. In 2003, Bosley and Archibald were both on the executive committee for Citizens for Home Rule, a group that sought to cut several at-large elected positions, put more power in the mayor’s office and revamp city operations. The museum’s board voted in October 2005 to approve the Delmar land deal, and the sale closed in November 2006. Armstrong, Bosley’s partner, said he was “the barbecue man” and Bosley was “the business partner.” He said that he could

not recall many details of the land sale but that he was satisfied with the $875,000 price. “It was OK,” he said. “It was more than we had in it.” Archibald said that he couldn’t remember who approached whom about the Delmar land deal, but that the museum had already been searching for a location in the area. Archibald said he envisioned the community center as a place where families and neighborhood associations could hold events and use video to record their histories. He chose Delmar because decades earlier, it was seen as a boundary between black and white residents. The boulevard was also seeing a development boom. Archibald said he and the museum’s board of trustees looked at several properties along Delmar before settling on Bosley’s. Ray Stranghoener, chairman of the board, said last week that the board didn’t seek an appraisal because some trustees were real estate professionals who could determine the value. Two years earlier, in 2004, Delmar Loop developer Joe Edwards had purchased the building next door, the former Delmar High School, which still stands on the site, for $333,000. That

site is 0.72 acres. Plans for the museum’s community center never got far. Archibald said the museum had hired an architect for the project, but then the recession hit. “The opportunity for raising funds for construction faded away,” he said. The museum has since decided to use current space and new technology to accomplish much of what it wanted to do with the proposed center, Archibald said. Stranghoener, the board chairman, said the museum wouldn’t attempt to sell the property until the real estate market improved. He hopes an old-fashioned trolley line that Edwards is spearheading along 2.2 miles on Delmar — from the University City Library to the History Museum in Forest Park — will boost property values. Construction on the trolley will begin in a few weeks and is scheduled for completion in mid-2014. Archibald is head of the nonprofit Loop Trolley Co., which was established in 2001 to raise money for the trolley. The History Museum’s funding comes from private sources and several million dollars in tax money it receives annually through the Zoo-Museum District. The district’s leaders are in the process of commissioning audits on each of the cultural institutions. A draft of the History Museum audit was given to the district board last week.


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ROMNEY’S 50% TAX GUY “I’ve talked to a guy who has a very small business. He’s in the electronics business in — in St.Louis.

Researchers cite impact of affordable contraception.

He has four employees. He said he and his son calculated how much they pay in taxes … It added up to well over 50 percent of what they earned.”


The abortion rate in the St. Louis area declined by more than 20 percent from 2008 to 2010, coinciding with a research study that gave free birth control to thousands of area women. Washington University researchers said the Contraceptive Choice Project offered evidence that affordable contraception, a hotly contested requirement of health care reform, can reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions. Although the drop in abortions in St. Louis cannot be attributed solely to the project, the abortion rate for the rest of Missouri remained constant over the same time. Contraception is key to reducing unintended pregnancies and abortions, said project leader Dr. Jeff Peipert. “We need to remove cost barriers,” Peipert said. “I think all women should have equal access.” The researchers recruited more than 9,250 women ages 14 to 45

Potential conflict in museum land deal Bosley was serving on History Museum board when he first discussed property with museum worker. BY STEPHEN DEERE > 314-340-8116

ST. LOUIS • When the Missouri History Mu-


Michael Bonadio with Reason Amplifier Co. in St. Peters assembles a cabinet for an amplifier Thursday. Mitt Romney referenced Bonadio’s business in the debate.

See ABORTION • Page A5

St. Peters businessman who calculated his overall tax burden is cited by candidate.

seum began talking to former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. about potentially buying a one-acre property he owned, Bosley was in a unique position. He was a member of the museum’s board of trustees. Bosley sat on the museum’s board for six years before stepping down in October 2005. But two months earlier, Melanie Adams, a museum employee overseeing a search for land for a planned community center, had met with Bosley to discuss his property on Delmar Boulevard, according to museum records. The History Museum eventually spent about $1 million in 2006 for the land in a deal that has recently come under fire, despite denials from Bosley and museum President Robert Archibald that personal and political connections were a factor. The museum, which recently released records related to the land deal to the Post-Dispatch, has defended the purchase. The museum has noted that it made offers on other properties and hired a real estate consultant to negotiate for fear that

See MUSEUM • Page A2

BY BILL LAMBRECHT • > 202-298-6880

Presidential candidates relish stories that show they’re connecting with voters, and Mitt Romney found such a story in St. Charles County that he recounted in the debate in Denver on Wednesday night. “I’ve talked to a guy who has a very small business. He’s in the electronics business in — in St. Louis,” Romney began during the first segment of the presidential debate. The business owner, Romney said, told him that he had added up all the taxes he paid, and the total ended up being more than 50 percent of what he had earned in his business. Romney then turned to President Barack Obama and declared: “And your plan is to take the tax rate on successful small businesses from 35 percent to 40 percent.” Obama disputed that assertion and others Romney made in exchanges about taxes. Obama said he had actually lowered taxes for small business 18 times

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during his administration and aims to lower the business tax rate to 25 percent. But Romney had made his point about taxes by using a reference to St. Louis, one he has sounded across the country. In Los Angeles last month at a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gathering, Romney told the story about “an electronics entrepreneur from St. Louis.”

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See TRISTAR • Page A3 •




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Robbery victim dies of injuries in beating

TIMELINE OF HISTORY MUSEUM LAND DEAL Dec. 16, 1999 • Former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. and a partner buy a 1.65-acre parcel along Delmar Boulevard for $150,000. October 2002 • Bosley begins a three-year term on the Missouri History Museum’s board of trustees. It is his second term. Dec. 21, 2004 • Bosley signs a disclosure statement saying he has disclosed any personal and business interests that are “museum related.” He also signs a “Conflict of Interest Certificate” acknowledging he has received no “remuneration of any thing in value in excess of $1,000” from the museum. Aug. 17, 2005 • A memo explaining the History Museum’s effort to buy land for a community center estimates the cost at “about $600,000 per acre.” Aug. 18, 2005 • Melanie Adams, leading the museum’s effort to find land, meets with Bosley about a one-acre portion of the land on Delmar. October 2005 • Bosley’s term on the board of trustees ends.

May 19, 2006 • A memo on the community center project indicates the museum has made two offers, both for $750,000 — one for land on DeBaliviere Avenue and one for Bosley’s property. Aug. 23, 2006 • At a board of trustees meeting, museum President Robert Archibald says the museum made an $875,000 offer on a property on Delmar and DeBaliviere. This is Bosley’s property. Archibald also says the only remaining issue is an environmental study. Oct. 25, 2006 • A letter from Archibald to Bosley says the museum is “dissatisfied with the environmental condition of the property” but will go forward with the deal. Nov. 9, 2006 • The museum closes on Bosley’s property for $875,000. The museum would spend at least another $100,000 on related costs.

BY KIM BELL • > 314-340-8115

ST. LOUIS • A man who was kicked and punched by two teens in a street robbery more than seven months ago has died of his injuries, authorities said Thursday. Prosecutors planned to file revised charges against the alleged attackers, who were 15 and 16 years old at the time. The victim, Lewis Rice, 46, never regained consciousness from the beating, said his older sister, Debbie A. Rice. “He was a vegetable,” she said. Rice was attacked as he walked on a sidewalk in the 4200 block of West Finney Avenue at about 7 p.m. Feb. 23. Court records say Deshawn Owens, 16, and his stepbrother Donald Cotton, 15, punched and kicked Rice and went through his pockets trying to rob him. They were held by juvenile authorities, and in April a judge certified them to be tried as adults on charges of assault and attempted robbery. Their bail is $250,000 each. Both live in the 4200 block of West Belle Place. Court records show that the

Source: Missouri History Museum records and city records.


The Missouri History Museum spent $875,000 in 2006 to buy a closed restaurant on this spot at 5863 Delmar Boulevard. The restaurant has been razed and the property has been valued by the city at $232,300.



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History Museum property


Des Peres

property owners would drive up their asking prices if they knew the museum was the buyer. But the museum as of September 2005, after the initial meeting with Bosley, had still not finalized a contract with that consultant, records show. The museum’s board of trustees had discusssed buying land for a community history center as early as May 2005. Bosley did not attend any of the board meetings where the issue came up, according to meeting minutes. The board has about 50 members, and not all regularly attend meetings. Bosley said in an interview this week that the land deal had no “connection with being on the board.” “I didn’t think that was a problem,” he said. Bosley couldn’t recall how he came to serve on the board, except that someone from the museum invited him. Bosley also said that he was too busy keeping afloat a struggling restaurant he owned on the site, called Big Jakes Bar-B-Que, to attend board meetings. “That restaurant started taking up so much time,” said Bosley, who was mayor in the mid-1990s. Bosley served two terms as a museum trustee, each lasting three years, starting in 1999. In December 2004, he signed a conflict of interest certificate that many trustees sign, acknowledging they have no personal or business conflicts with museum operations. The History Museum released a statement this week, reading: “As we have said from the beginning, the museum followed a completely transparent, aboveboard process” when buying the land. The statement added that the deal “had nothing to do with a former politician being partowner of the property.” The museum bought the property in November 2006 for $875,000. It did so without a common practice in real estate deals — getting an appraisal. The museum also did not formally hire a real estate agent. The institution relied on trustee Elizabeth Robb, herself a real estate agent, for advice throughout


Bosley did not attend board meetings at which land issue was discussed

St. Louis

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Forest Park

Missouri History Museum Post-Dispatch

the process. Robb did not receive a commission on the purchase, museum officials said. The land also had some environmental problems. The museum paid more than $44,000 for environmental assessments on the property, along with about $56,000 for legal and other costs. Bosley and a partner bought a 1.65-acre parcel along Delmar in 1999 for $150,000. It was previously home to a McDonald’s restaurant. In 2002, they split off a portion of the property on which to build and sell three homes. Their restaurant, Big Jakes, sat on the remaining acre. The restaurant quickly fell into financial trouble, and the partners eventually owed thousands of dollars in back property taxes. Museum officials have said they wanted to buy the property in hopes of building a “Center for Community and Family Stories” to record the histories of individuals and neighborhoods. But the recession set the plans back, and the museum later decided to use other space for that purpose. Today, the one-acre property that the museum bought from Bosley is vacant, and the city values it at $232,300. Museum leaders say they plan to eventually sell it. Museum officials have said tax money was not used for the Delmar land purchase. The History Museum receives about $10 million a year from a tax city and county residents pay to help fund local cultural institutions.

In October 2005, the History Museum’s board of trustees approved spending up to $1.5 million to purchase land for the community center. By May 2006, the museum had two offers out, according to records. One was made to Bosley and his partner for $750,000, records show, and the other for the same price for a property on DeBaliviere Avenue, about five blocks north of the museum. Both owners initially declined to respond to the offers, according to a museum memo. Three months later, in August, a deal with Bosley was nearly wrapped up. Archibald told the trustees at a board meeting that the museum had made an $875,000 offer on Bosley’s property for the planned community center. He said the only remaining issue was an environmental study. In October 2006, Archibald wrote a letter to Bosley stating that the History Museum was “dissatisfied with the environmental condition of the property,” according to museum records. But, the letter added, the museum would not back out of the deal. It closed on the property two weeks later. The Post-Dispatch has asked the History Museum for copies of the environmental studies that were conducted. Last month, the Delmar land deal was highlighted in an auditor’s report to the Zoo-Museum District, which oversees more than $70 million in tax money that funds St. Louis’ five cultural institutions, including the History Museum. The audit, in particular, noted the lack of an appraisal, and Zoo-Museum District board members have questioned the deal and asked the History Museum to review related records. Bosley said he thinks it’s strange that issues surrounding the purchase are just now being brought up. “Six years ago would have been the time to raise questions about it,” he said.

same teens are accused of jumping another man about a half hour earlier in the 4100 block of Rice Enright Avenue. The victim of that attack suffered a broken leg and head injuries, said Debbie Rice, who met the other victim at a hearing. She said her brother died Monday at Hillside Manor Healthcare, a rehabilitation center where he was sent after three months at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Lewis Rice lived in the 4200 block of West Cook Avenue. He did demolition work for relatives. His one son lives in Chicago. Debbie Rice said she asked detectives if the attack was part of the so-called “knockout game,” involving random attacks in which the violence itself is the motive. She said they told her they didn’t think so.

Investigations are cited as Zigman is honored by St. Louis media FROM STAFF REPORTS

KSDK’s Leisa Zigman was honored Thursday by the Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis as the Media Person of the Year. Post-Dispatch photographers J.B. Forbes and Robert Cohen, and public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard also were honored. The gala, held at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, raises money for scholarships. Zigman was recognized for her investigations into brutality on school playgrounds and high levels of lead in children’s jewelry, along with reporting on non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a disease she was diagnosed with in 2010. Forbes and Cohen were recognized for their coverage of the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo., and for organizing an exhibit and silent auction that raised more than $10,000 for Joplin relief. Both have won many regional and national awards. Forbes joined the Post-Dispatch in 1975 and has traveled to 27 countries for the newspaper, photographing war, international events and medical missions. He was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in 2011. Cohen joined the Post-Dispatch in 1999. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2010 for photos of suburban homelessness.





• Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stated in Wednesday night’s debate that “Obamacare” would require a $716 billion cut from Medicare to pay for the new program. The number was incorrect in a summary on Thursday’s front page.

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Lambert alters plan on parking

Rates won’t go up for now, but may increase next year. BY KEN LEISER > 314-340-8215

Short-term parking rates at the two primary garages at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport will stay put — for now. The St. Louis Airport Authority on Wednesday postponed action on a proposal that would have effectively doubled the price to park in one of the garages during the first hour. The proposal called for a flat $5 for each two-hour increment — or any fraction of that time. It now costs $2.50 an hour. “There were just a lot of comments from people that they didn’t understand it,” Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge said. “We felt that it would be better if there are questions and there seems to be confusion, that we do more” to educate the public. She said she hopes to bring the parking rate increases back to the Airport Authority before the end of the year. The new parking rates were expected to generate an additional $1.5 million a year. The Airport Authority also put on hold a separate plan to increase fees it charges hotel shutSee LAMBERT • Page A7


Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) is congratulated by teammates Wednesday after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning, the biggest blow that spoiled Washington’s first home postseason baseball appearance since 1933. The Cardinals lead the best-of-five series 2-1.

IN SPORTS, SECTION B Bernie Miklasz: Cards spoil Nationals’ party • Carpenter and Kozma are heroes for a day. More online at

Mine Workers target Patriot, Peabody They threaten disobedience here, over potential loss of pension and health care benefits. BY BILL LAMBRECHT • > 202-298-6880

Workers union is threatening civil disobedience in St. Louis and elsewhere to protest the potential loss of pension and health care benefits from Patriot Coal Corp.’s decision to seek bankruptcy protection. In an interview, Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts likened his union’s resolve to the Pittston Coal Strike in

Officials didn’t get lower price on land, but defend 2006 purchase. BY STEPHEN DEERE > 314-340-8116 AND DAVID HUNN > 314-436-2239

ST. LOUIS • The site of a proposed commu-

Nailed by Carpenter

TRIANGLE, VA. • The United Mine

Site museum bought was contaminated

1989, when about 4,000 miners were arrested in Virginia during a 14-month strike to protest termination of health care benefits for retirees, widows and disabled miners. Roberts, who directed the Pittston campaign before heading the union, said he views the Chapter 11 filing of Creve Coeur-based Patriot and events leading to it as a “moral issue” requir-

ing the Mine Workers to make a stand. Roberts gave no time frame for the threatened protests. The Mine Workers call their campaign “Fairness at Patriot,” but a primary target is Peabody Energy Corp., of St. Louis, which spun off Patriot and some of its liabilities in 2007. See MINE WORKERS • Page A5

nity center purchased by the Missouri History Museum was contaminated with arsenic, lead and chromium, and could have cost as much as $300,000 to clean up, according to environmental reports released by the museum. The museum didn’t use the information to negotiate a lower price. Officials felt the oneacre site was a good deal when they bought it six years ago for $875,000, a museum spokesman said this week. “The museum was acquiring the property at the low end of what comparable properties were selling for on Delmar,” said Tim Beecher, a senior vice president at the public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard, hired recently by the museum to handle communications on the land deal. The institution purchased the property from former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr., and has been criticized for not having the property appraised before the purchase. Bosley, who ran a struggling restaurant on the site, was a member of the See MUSEUM • Page A7

ELECTIONS 2012: Illinois’ 12th Congressional District

Economy dominates debate among rivals BY NICHOLAS J.C. PISTOR • > 314-340-8265



Candidates seeking to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello debated on Wednesday night how to best represent the Metro East’s blue-collar, military-heavy district. The race between Democrat Bill Enyart and Republican Jason Plummer has been marked by spending from national groups as the two political parties battle for control of the U.S. House and Illinois’ 12th Congressional District. The seat, once safe terrain for Democrats, is one of the few that

Vol. 134, No. 285 ©2012

polls show could tilt either way in this fall’s general election. The area’s economy dominated the debate at Lindenwood University’s campus in Belleville. Enyart framed himself as an experienced leader who would fight for the area’s middle class. Plummer framed himself as a small businessman who would bring jobs to the district and a fresh face to Washington. Paula Bradshaw, a Green Party candidate, described herself as a child of coal miners who would address corporate

wrongs. The subject that drew the most heated exchange was taxes, specifically tax returns. Enyart hammered Plummer, a lumber heir, for not releasing his tax returns to the public. Enyart said Plummer has failed to show his tax returns for four years, and later said “millionaires need to pay their fair share of taxes.” He showcased his own résumé and barbed Plummer by saying he “has only


Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan will square off over foreign and domestic policy in tonight’s vice presidential debate at 8 p.m. at Centre College in Danville, Ky. Story, A8

See DEBATE • Page A7

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Airport panel decides not to raise short-term parking rates for now

STEPHEN RICKERL • The Southern Illinoisan

From left: Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw, Democrat Bill Enyart and Republican Jason Plummer debate Sept. 20 in Marion, Ill. They also debated Wednesday night in Belleville, aiming to succeed retiring Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill.



Candidates haggle over tax returns, express support for Scott Air Force Base

worked for his father.” “The voters want answers, they don’t want attacks,” Plummer responded. Enyart himself has assets exceeding $1 million, according to his personal financial disclosure. Plummer is estimated to be worth up to $33 million. Plummer said of his tax returns, “I don’t think that it’s public information.” He also accused Enyart of raising money from other candidates who haven’t released their own taxes. “If you’re not going to be honest with the voters when you’re asking them for their vote, how are you going to treat them if you win?” Plummer said. Enyart said it is important for district voters to know if Plummer has paid his fair share of taxes, which his returns would show. Plummer focused on a message of bringing jobs to Illinois and said his businesses have employed more than 1,000 people in the Metro East. “I argue you send a small businessman to Washington, D.C.,” Plummer said.

The district stretches from the western parts of Madison County, all of St. Clair County, and straight down to the Kentucky border. It is largely working class with a strong military presence. Only two men have represented the district since the end of World War II: Democrats Mel Price and Costello, who announced last year he wouldn’t seek re-election after representing the district for about 22 years. Republicans hope to capitalize on the district’s more conservative leanings on social issues. Enyart, 62, is a lawyer who retired from his job as the head of the state’s National Guard in June so he could run for the seat. Enyart grew up in central Illinois doing farm work during the summer and working as a stock boy after school at a dime store where his mother was a clerk. He lives in Belleville with his wife, retired Circuit Judge Annette Eckert. Plummer, 30, is the vice president of corporate development at familyowned R.P. Lumber Co. He lives in O’Fallon, Ill., but was raised in Edwardsville. He unsuccessfully ran for

lieutenant governor in 2010. Both candidates have military backgrounds. Enyart was the adjutant general in Illinois since 2007 and has had military service since 1976. Plummer is an intelligence officer in the Naval Reserves. Plummer and Enyart each showcased that experience when talking about Scott Air Force Base, the district’s largest employer. “Scott Air Force Base isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue,” Plummer said. “It’s a national issue.” Plummer pledged not to just keep the status quo at Scott Air Force Base but to grow it. Enyart said he would have “instant credibility” in Washington to preserve and grow the base. Supporting the base is one of the few issues about which all of the candidates agreed. Bradshaw, who wants to cut the military in half, said she nevertheless supports the base. “You can support the military without supporting invasions of other countries,” she said.


Damage closes ice complex FROM STAFF REPORTS


Ice Sports Complex here has closed indefinitely because of structural damage to the building and ice surfaces due to mine subsidence, the complex announced Wednesday. Structural engineers and workers with the Illinois Department of Nat-

ural Resources have been evaluating the building since Monday, and all use has been canceled until they have finished assessing the damage. The complex is at 125 South Ruby Lane. The complex features two rinks that are the size of those used by the

National Hockey League. It is used by several groups and teams, including teams from McKendree University and several Metro East high schools.

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Florissant Fine Arts Council Presents: “Letters Home” From the Griffin Theatre Company, Chicago Saturday, October 13 at 8:00 p.m.

tles, private parking facilities, taxicabs, charter buses and limousine companies. Some of the “ground transportation fees” have not increased since 1998, airport officials said. Those fee increases were expected to raise an additional $132,000 a year beginning next year, said Susan Kopinski, the airport’s deputy director of finance and administration. Airport officials stressed that they are under pressure to increase non-aeronautical revenue as a way to reduce airlines’ landing fees and lease costs. Reducing airline costs, they say, would also help attract and retain air service. “At the end of the day, the goal of this airport is to be a more cost-effective airport,” Hamm-Niebruegge said. “Our goal is to try to lower the cost for the airlines’ operating expenses.” Shifting the parking rates to two-hour increments from one-hour increments in the two main garages would encourage “meeters” and “greeters” who park short term to use one of the airport’s two cellphone lots. The cellphone lots are free and provide a place for friends or family members to wait before picking up arriving passengers at the terminals. But airport officials acknowledge most airport visitors don’t know enough about the lots. Hamm-Niebruegge said the airport will look at doing more to promote those lots. By doing so, it would free up garage spaces for people parking long-term. The Terminal 2 garage — serving mostly the Southwest Airlines gates — is full four out of five business days. “There is a demand out there,” Hamm-Niebruegge said. “We hear it every single day that people are turned away from that lot. Our goal is to free up and have some options for those short-term parkers.” Meanwhile, the Airport Authority will consider a series of fee increases for shuttles, charter buses and limousines that would take effect on Jan. 1. Taxicabs operating at the airport would be assessed $3 per passenger pickup beginning April 2016, compared with $2 today. Under the plan, the cost for rental car companies and private parking lots operating near the airport would increase. Airport Commissioner Dick Hrabko urged Lambert officials to consider a higher rate for private parking lots that compete directly with the airport for customers and pay a relatively small amount to run shuttles to Lambert terminals. One reason for the fee increase, Kopinski said, is to pass along maintenance costs to users of the airport’s upper and lower road network. “As you know, roadways are expensive,” Kopinski said. “Just imagine what ours go through as far as the shuttle buses and all the other traffic and vehicles that go across those. Maintenance is very expensive.” The proposed ordinance containing the ground transportation fees would need to be approved by the Airport Authority, the St. Louis Estimate Board and the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. Hamm-Niebruegge said she does not expect changes to the parking rate or the ground transportation fee proposals but could not rule it out.

“tHe WAter CooLers” Award-winning Musical Comedy from Off-Broadway Saturday, November 17 at 8:00 p.m.

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History Museum defends 2006 purchase of land despite tract being contaminated

museum’s board of trustees when talks started on the deal. Bosley and the museum president, Robert Archibald, have denied that personal or political connnections played a role in the deal. In addition to the purchase price, the museum paid $44,572 for environmental studies. The museum, in a statement this week, characterized the $300,000 estimate as a “high-end, Cadillac-style” cleanup seldom used for commercial properties. The museum also received an estimate for a less extensive $94,000 cleanup, “the standard most often used for commercial properties,” the statement said. The museum received the two cleanup estimates on Oct. 16, 2006. Nine days later, Archibald informed Bosley in a letter that the museum was “dissatisfied with the environmental condition of the property.” But, the letter added, the museum still planned to go through with the sale. The site has been home to a variety of businesses since the early 1900s, including multiple dry cleaners — known sources of contamination due to solvents used in the cleaning. In 1984, McDonald’s bought the site and operated a restaurant there for about a decade. In 1999, Bosley purchased the site, which then included 1.65 acres, with a business partner for $150,000, and opened Big Jakes Bar-B-Que. In 2002, they split off a portion of the property to build and sell three homes. Their restaurant sat on the remaining acre. The restaurant quickly fell into financial trouble, and the partners eventually owed thousands of dollars in back property taxes. The museum purchased the property in November 2006, but the recession eventually set back plans for the community center. The land is vacant now, and the city values it at $232,300. Before the museum purchased the property, it paid for two environmental impact studies. Such studies are most often required by banks for loans, said local real estate professionals. Sometimes, buyers seek the reports on their own. Governments and nonprofits often engage environmental consultants, seeking to be extra cautious before purchasing property. And some grants and tax credit programs require the studies. Real estate professionals say environmental impact reports, such as the ones received by the History Museum, are typically used to negotiate a lower sale price. Also, the museum is now required to tell any potential buyers about the impact studies. Museum officials have said tax money was not used to purchase the Delmar land. However, Beecher said that as museum employees were reviewing records this week, they found that about $14,000 in tax money was used to pay for the demolition of Big Jakes. The History Museum receives about $10 million a year from a tax city and county residents pay to help fund local cultural institutions. Last month, the Delmar land deal was highlighted in an auditor’s report to the Zoo-Museum District, which oversees more than $70 million in tax money that funds St. Louis’ five cultural institutions, including the History Museum. The audit, in particular, noted the lack of an appraisal, and Zoo-Museum District board members have questioned the deal and asked the History Museum for related records. The museum initially said it would not release the environmental studies, even to the Zoo-Museum District. But the organization later changed its stance.

T H E N O . 1 S T. L O U I S W E B S I T E A N D N E W S P A P E R



FINAL EDITION • SUNDAY • 10.21.2012 • $2.50


PAY UP FOR CAPTAINS OF CULTURE Zoo-Museum District institutions try to stay competitive, but some compensation, perks are being scrutinized.

BY DAVID HUNN • > 314-436-2239 AND STEPHEN DEERE • > 314-340-8116

ST. LOUIS • The head of the Missouri History Museum, Robert Archibald, had a $90,000 salary in 1990. By 1997, Archibald’s salary had risen to $185,000. Nine months later, the board of trustees added $20,000 more. The next year, it gave him an additional $9,000 in January, then $35,000 in October. In total, Archibald got 11 raises between 1997 and 2008, often worth five figures, sometimes twice in one year. This

past summer, the president of the board of trustees, V. Raymond Stranghoener, signed a new contract with Archibald for $375,000 in base pay for 2013. Archibald also has an annual $33,000 housing allowance, a museum-paid minivan and yearly retirement payments — worth about $89,000 last year alone. He gets six weeks of leave each year for “historical research and writing,” which comes on top of four weeks of vacation. In previ-

ous years, he had eight weeks of vacation. Then, this past July, the History Museum board spelled out the riches of one more perk. It agreed to pay Archibald for 410 unused vacation days, due as a lump sum upon his retirement. If Archibald were to retire at the end of this year, that check would come to $580,000. In recent weeks, board members of the Zoo-Museum District, which oversees tax money distributed to the History Museum

and other cultural institutions, have discussed withholding money from the History Museum because of anger over Archibald’s pay and business dealings. “When does that stop?” asked Commissioner Gloria Wessels about Archibald’s pay raises. Commissioner Jerome Glick was particularly irked at the vacation deal. See MUSEUMS • Page A5






President, St. Louis Science Center

President, Missouri History Museum

President, St. Louis Zoo

Director, St. Louis Art Museum

President, Missouri Botanical Garden








2012 salary

2012 salary

2012 total compensation

2012 salary


2010 salary

2012 total compensation

2012 total compensation

2012 total compensation


Not provided





• $33,000 annual housing allowance • 2011 Toyota Sienna • Six weeks of “historical research and writing,” in addition to four weeks vacation • 410 unused vacation days to cash out at retirement.

• 2009 Ford Explorer • Wife’s expenses covered for zoo-related trips • Expenses covered for zoorelated entertaining at home

Mercy’s attempt to sell hospital draws criticism Chesterfield-based system wants to sell facility in Hot Springs, Ark., to for-profit, crosstown competitor. BY JIM DOYLE > 314-340-8372 AND TIM TOWNSEND > 314-340-8221

HOT SPRINGS, ARK. • For more than a century, St. Joseph’s hospital has practiced its charitable ministry in this quirky spa town, not far from the mineral waters that have attracted legions of tourists, baseball stars, even gangsters. Two nuns established an infirmary in 1888 near Bathhouse Row. Now, the hospital sits on a hillside above this valley, providing medical care and helping to stitch together a safety net of other social services. The city’s largest hospital and largest employer is the centerpiece of Mercy Health’s larger footprint in southwest Arkansas. Mercy’s affiliated physician groups and health clinics serve the city’s 35,000 residents and more in nearby hardscrabble rural areas. But the nonprofit health system’s leading role here will soon end if executives at Chesterfieldbased Mercy Health are permitted to sell the Hot Springs hospital to the Tennessee-based owners of a rival for-profit hospital across town. To pull that off, Mercy officials must not only convince federal regulators — who are cracking down on hospital monopolies in smaller cities — but also Vatican officials in Rome. Mercy Health is a corporation, or “public juridic person,” within the Catholic Church. The future of what locals affectionately call “St. Joe’s” lies in a bubbling stew of health care politics, antitrust law and religious doctrine. And the debate over its fate cuts to the core of the shifting

2012 total compensation

• Five different retirement plans, including $115,000 a year in deferred compensation, and an unspecified number of vacation days to convert to retirement pay.

• Free use of Director’s Residence • Half of his utilities paid (about $5,000 annually) • $670,000 for home renovations (covered by a grant from the Danforth Foundation) • 2010 Hybrid Toyota Highlander • Round-trip flights from Europe for each child in college

NLCS GAME 6 • CARDINALS VS. GIANTS 6:45 p.m. Sunday at San Francisco, KTVI (2)




Cardinals legend Stan Musial makes a surprise appearance before Game 4 of the National League championship series between the Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants on Thursday at Busch Stadium. The Cardinal Way

BY DAN O’NEILL • > 314-340-8186

Former St. Louis Cardinals public relations director Jim Toomey, a groundskeeper and a chaplain paraded out to right field at Sportsman’s Park one chilly morning in 1951. The landscape was engulfed in the shadows, cast by the towering light standards and stooped upper deck of the antiquated park. A few leaves and wax-paper wrappers fluttered about in the fall breeze. They arrived at an unobtrusive spot in right field, and the groundskeeper began to dig. Toomey carefully set the urn he carried into the hole. The groundskeeper replaced the dirt as the reverend delivered the appropriate words. It had been the dying wish of an anonymous Cardinals fan to be laid to rest as close to Enos Slaughter as possible. His wife contacted Toomey, and so it was done.

See MERCY • Page A10




Community • B1

2012 salary

INSIDE • Determined Cards, Giants take battle back to San Francisco > Bernie Miklasz on the series. IN SPORTS • C1

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Vol. 134, No. 295 ©2012 •

2 M


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CEO compensation at cultural institutions has risen across the country, mirroring the rise in corporate CEO pay and bonuses

“That,” he said, “is an abuse.” Stranghoener, the head of the museum’s trustees, says the vacation and salary increases were necessary to keep Archibald, whom he described as a nationally recognized leader. He said Archibald led two multimillion-dollar expansions, won a national museum service award presented by then-first lady Hillary Clinton, and was offered a top job at the Smithsonian Institution. And under Archibald’s leadership, Stranghoener noted, museum attendance has risen from 157,000 annual visitors to more than 356,000 today. Moreover, Archibald’s compensation alone isn’t unusual when compared to chief executives at the four other tax-supported institutions. In fact, chief executive pay at all five — including the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center and St. Louis Zoo — has risen sharply over the past two decades. In 1990, zoo Director Charlie Hoessle earned less than $90,000 a year. His replacement, Jeffrey Bonner, this year will make more than $500,000 in total compensation, including salary, retirement and other perks. Botanical Garden chief Peter Raven made $103,000 in 1990, and $404,000 in total compensation by the time he retired in 2010. And former Art Museum boss James Burke collected $155,000 two decades ago. Yet current Director Brent Benjamin will receive nearly $640,000 in compensation this year. In total, chief executive compensation at the five institutions rose from a combined total of $661,000 in 1990, to $1.3 million in 2000, to $2.5 million in 2010 — a 280 percent increase over the two decades. Even after adjusting for inflation, that’s still a growth of 130 percent. The St. Louis institutions are under added scrutiny that comes with receiving tax money. The five split about $70 million a year from a tax collected on residents in St. Louis and St. Louis County.


The board members who govern each organization argue they have little choice when it comes to paying their chief executives. The institutions’ leaders, they say, are top-class in their fields and command top salaries. “You have to appreciate what kind of zoo we have,” said zoo

THE RISING COST OF MUSEUM CEOS Total compensation for chiefs of the region's five tax-supported cultural institutions has boomed over the last two decades. Leaders attribute the rise, which is more than double the inflation rate, to national acclaim and demand.


St. Louis Science Center

St. Louis Zoo

Missouri History Museum

St. Louis Art Museum

Missouri Botanical Garden



$526,498 500




400 300 200 100 0

1990 2000 2010

1990 2000 2010

1990 2000 2010

1990 2000 2010


1990 2000 2010

Note: The zoo and art museum estimated figures for 1990. SOURCE: Institutions/IRS records. | Post-Dispatch

commission chairman and former Mayor Jim Conway. “We are recognized as one of the top zoos in the world.” The zoo will get about 3.4 million visitors this year, Conway said, likely the largest count in the region. “We probably will draw more people than the baseball Cardinals,” he said. Patrick Mulcahy, head of the Art Museum Commission and former CEO of Energizer Holdings, echoed similar sentiments. “We truly have a world-class CEO,” he said. Two museums, in fact, recently called him looking to hire away Benjamin, Mulcahy added. To hold on to the chief, Mulcahy said, the board aims to keep Benjamin’s salary in the top 25 percent of art museum directors in the nation. And salaries across the country have risen. According to a database kept by the nonprofit evaluator Charity Navigator, museum and zoo chief executive compensation has grown from an average of $192,000 in 2001 to $320,000 in 2011. Among the 53 institutions that list figures for both 2000 and 2010, pay ballooned from $249,000 to $368,000, a 50 percent increase. It mirrors the dramatic rise of CEO pay and bonuses in the corporate world and even at large nonprofit organizations. With cultural institutions, experts says, the job is harder now than it was then. Twenty years ago, museums picked scholars to fill the role of director, said

pensation at the History Museum took up 3.1 percent of his institution’s revenue in 2010, the highest of all the St. Louis institutions. And his museum doesn’t stack up to the others in visitor attendance or fundraising, ZooMuseum District commissioners have pointed out. Tax money makes up about 60 percent of the History Museum’s annual revenue. “Compensation should be tied to the size of organization,” Glick said. “The History Museum has not prospered as nicely as the other institutions.” Stranghoener disagrees. Archibald’s pay, he said, has increased with the success of the museum. Under Archibald, he said, “the whole scope of the operation grew exponentially.”

Dewey Blanton, a spokesman for the American Alliance of Museums, based in Washington. “That’s not the case these days,” he said. Blanton said the portion of museum budgets funded by government sources has dropped from about 35 percent in the 1990s to around 25 percent today. That decline put a premium on presidents skilled at raising money. “The main job of a history museum director is fundraiser-inchief, communicator-in-chief, advocate-in-chief,” he said. But in St. Louis, taxpayer contributions haven’t dipped — they’ve increased. The Art Museum and zoo now get about $20 million a year from a tax collected from St. Louis and St. Louis County residents. The Science Center, History Museum and Botanical Garden are sent about $10 million each. The institutions work to raise private money, too. And, in most cases, they succeed. Zoo revenue rose from $14 million in 1990 to nearly $70 million in 2010. The Art Museum’s boomed from $17 million to $56 million. History Museum revenue doubled. The Science Center’s grew by one-fifth. Still, the climb in CEO salaries here has outpaced the increase in revenue. Twenty-two years ago, chief executive pay made up about 1 percent of each institution’s total revenue. By 2010, that figure had almost doubled. In particular, Archibald’s com-

The rise in compensation hasn’t looked the same at each local institution. For instance, when Peter Wyse Jackson took over for Raven at the Botanical Garden in 2010, the board set his base salary at $300,000. But it also gave him a list of extras — a leased 2010 Hybrid Toyota Highlander worth $698 a month, $20,000 toward his move from Ireland, and yearly roundtrip flights from Europe for each of his college-going children. In addition, the garden agreed to pay half of Wyse Jackson’s utilities in the Director’s Residence, where Henry Shaw’s will requires him to live. He also was entitled to $280,000 for preparation of “work and lab space,” and $670,000 for “renovations of the mechanical systems and upgrades to the residence,” according to Wyse Jackson’s contract. Garden staffers said the residence hadn’t been renovated in 40 years. Wyse Jackson used the money, part of a Danforth Foundation grant set aside specifically for that purpose, to update heating and air conditioning, rewire electricity and tuck-point brick, staffers said. The zoo, too, recently had to find a way to pay its chief outside of his $490,000 base salary. Bonner is a member of the city’s retirement system, which will endow him a six-figure annual pension when he retires. His contract also stipulates 12 months of pay upon retirement. But the zoo learned a few years ago that the IRS caps pensions for six-figure salaries — meaning Bonner wouldn’t get the annual pension he anticipated when he

took the job in 2001. So last year, the board agreed to pay him what it believed he was owed: $901,586, plus a percentage of his pay every year going forward, worth about $49,000 this year. Bonner said he donated the bulk of the 2011 payment back to the zoo. “My wife and I had always planned to support the zoo’s campaign, and we are thrilled that we could make an even more significant contribution … than would have otherwise been possible,” Bonner said in an email. But it wasn’t a bad deal for Bonner, either. He got a tax break on the payment. And the type of gift he gave — a deferred payment gift annuity — will, beginning in 2020, pay him about $34,550 a year after taxes. None of the retirement plans here, however, equal those provided Benjamin at the Art Museum. Benjamin has five retirement plans. One plan alone now contributes $100,000 a year as part of his total compensation. Art Museum staff point out that those payments require him to stay through the end of the plans, and, sometimes, meet certain board goals. If he takes another job, he’d lose the money. Douglas Yaeger, former CEO of the Laclede Group and chairman of the Science Center commission, said he would expect leaders who have grown their institutions to get paid more. “Those guys have been there a long time, run great institutions,” he said. The Science Center’s current CEO, Bert Vescolani, is young, Yaeger said, and isn’t making the same as the others yet, nor is he receiving the same perks. Vescolani, 48, took the job only last year, and did so after an outcry about executive compensation at the center. The Post-Dispatch last year reported about bonuses and pay to several executives at the Science Center. In the wake of the stories, the center ended bonuses and cut the number of vice president position. Vescolani’s predecessor, Doug King, received more than $440,000 in total compensation, plus an $86,000 bonus, before leaving for a higher-paying job in Seattle. But in time, Yaeger acknowledged, Vescolani could be in line for heftier compensation. “He’ll be more valuable and more marketable,” Yaeger said. “If we want to keep him here, we’ll have to pay what the market is.”

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Coming Friday: Voters guide

Don’t miss Friday’s Post-Dispatch to learn about all the candidates and issues on the Nov. 6 ballot. The guide, produced with the League of Women Voters of St. Louis, is also available online now at T H E N O . 1 S T. L O U I S W E B S I T E A N D N E W S P A P E R

THURSDAY • 10.25.2012 • $1.50

Plane crashes into lake

Two people were taken to a hospital in critical condition after a small airplane that witnesses said seemed to be attempting to land crashed Wednesday night into Creve Coeur Lake in Maryland Heights. Story, A4



ST. LOUIS • Flu has blown into

town well before winter’s first chill. The area’s two pediatric hospitals, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and St. Louis Children’sHospital,already have treated about 30 cases

each this month. The severity of illness isn’t out of line, but the timing is a surprise — even for such an inscrutable bug as the influenza virus. “Flu usually peaks in January and February,” Dr. Ken Haller, a pediatrician at Cardinal Glennon, said Wednesday. “We don’t get many cases in October. The number we’ve diagnosed al-

ready is quite high for this time of year.” Haller and Dr. Rachel Orscheln, an infectious disease specialist at St. Louis Children’s, say the arrival is a clarion call for people to get vaccinated earlier than they might usually get around to it. This year’s supply See FLU • Page A4

Museum was warned on land’s cost

Price suggested by real estate company owner was half of what museum paid. BY STEPHEN DEERE • > 314-340-8116 AND DAVID HUNN • > 314-436-2239

ST. LOUIS • The Missouri His-

Flee, fly, flu

tory Museum has for weeks defended the purchase of a oneacre piece of land on Delmar Boulevard from the city’s former mayor by insisting the $875,000 price was fair. At a cost of roughly $20 a square foot, officials have said, the land was a bargain when it was bought in 2006. They have pointed to the advice of a paid consultant, a real estate investor named David Hoffmann, who told the museum to expect to pay as much as $25 per square foot for land in that area. But Hoffmann wasn’t the only person the museum sought for advice. Museum representatives had previously talked to Dan Feinberg, who owns a real estate

PRESIDENT’S COMPENSATION Robert Archibald President, Missouri History Museum • 2012 salary: $368,700 • 2012 total compensation: $515,000 Perks: • $33,000 annual housing allowance • 2011 Toyota Sienna • Six weeks of “historical research and writing” in addition to four weeks’ vacation • 410 unused vacation days to cash out at retirement (current value: $580,000) • Fax line, fax machine and computer for home

See MUSEUM • Page A5


Carol Evans (left) offers a comforting hand to co-worker Dusty Reese (center) as Kandie Halleran, R.N., administers a flu shot to Reese in the main lobby rotunda area at St. Louis City Hall.

Emails tell of attack at Benghazi

ANNE GEARAN • Washington Post

Spence cites business acumen as top asset But little-known, conservative Republican is facing a ‘tough climb’ against moderate incumbent.

OVERLAND • Over the din of machinery, Dave Spence is leading a media tour of the factory that was once the hub of his plastics empire. Though he hasn’t worked here in a year, he still sounds like the boss. He greets the workers at Alpha Packaging warmly and by name. He reels off facts, such as the precise number of seconds it takes for a machine to spit out a perfectly formed bottle. The tour is intended to Spence underscore the business acumen that Spence, the Republican nominee for governor, would bring to state government if voters choose him over the Democratic incumbent, Jay Nixon, in the Nov. 6 election. “I want to make Missouri the most business-friendly place on the planet,” Spence

See LIBYA • Page A8

See SPENCE • Page A3

Vol. 134, No. 299 ©2012

He is a partner in a law firm that has had a long businesses relationship wth History Museum.

ELECTIONS 2012: Missouri Governor

About a half-hour after militants overran the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last month, the State Department notified officials at the White House and elsewhere that the compound was “under attack” by about 20 armed assailants, emails obtained by The Washington Post on Wednesday show. Two hours later, the State Department reported that the Libyan militia group Ansar alSharia had asserted responsibility on Facebook and Twitter, and also had called for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. The brief, unclassified emails from the State Department Operations Center do not discuss the origin of the Sept. 11 attack nor mention any protest or demonstration at the mission before the assault. Republicans including presidential challenger Mitt

Some say Danforth has conflict of interest

BY VIRGINIA YOUNG • > 573-635-6178

Second of a twopart series on the race for Missouri governor Wednesday • Gov. Jay Nixon has spent time and resources in rural Missouri, battling natural disasters and scoring political points. Today • Republican Dave Spence is stressing his business background as the political newcomer challenges a longtime elected official.

BY DAVID HUNN • > 314-436-2239 AND STEPHEN DEERE • > 314-340-8116

Considering John C. Danforth’s have helped justify President résumé, it’s not hard to see why Robert Archibald’s compensahe was asked to help quell the tion. controversy surrounding Between 2006 and 2011, the Missouri History Muthe History Museum paid seum. As a former senanearly $277,000 in fees to tor, ambassador to the Bryan Cave, according to United Nations and state a recent auditor’s report. attorney general, he may Still, Danforth was have seemed like a perfect asked last week by St. choice. Louis Mayor Francis Except for one detail. Danforth Slay and county ExecuDanforth is a law part- Partner at tive Charlie A. Dooley to ner at Bryan Cave, the Bryan Cave negotiate a new plan for same firm that has enjoyed oversight of the History a long business relationship with Museum, and provide a soluthe museum. The firm counseled tion to some of the thorny issues the History Museum in the con- plaguing the institution. troversial land deal with former Danforth says there is no Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr., and has performed the studies that See DANFORTH • Page A5

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10.25.2012 • THURSDAY • M 1





Report blasts land purchase, compensation for Archibald, museum’s president, whose resignation was urged by one commissioner

comment, could not be reached Wednesday, when the report was released. The museum’s purchase of the Delmar land, which was owned by former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr., has drawn fire for weeks. The Zoo-Museum District board report also lambasts the compensation of the History Museum’s president, Robert Archibald, saying his newest contract should be withdrawn and his perks and vacation days re-evaluated. And it criticizes the museum’s board of trustees and calls for changes in how the museum is run. The report says Archibald plays a role in recruiting trustees and, as a result, the board “has become captive to the president, and thus incapable of prudent oversight and critical judgment.” The report was written primarily by board member Gloria Wessels, and she was advised by two of her colleagues, Charles Valier and Jerome Glick. It sparked disagreement at a meeting of the eight-member board Wednesday afternoon. Some members said they had only recently received a copy and wanted more time to review the report before debating the points and voting to approve it. One, Thomas Campbell, warned about possible “innuendo” and “speculation” in the report. And typos in the report, he said, meant a lack of attention to detail. But other board members were more vehement. In particular, Robert Lowery, the former mayor of Florissant, said after the meeting that Archibald should resign. “He can’t stay,” Lowery said. “We’ve been fooling around with this for too long.” The board will meet again Monday to discuss the report in detail. Former Sen. John C. Danforth, now a partner at the Bryan Cave law firm, attended Wednesday’s meeting. Acting on the request of Mayor Francis Slay and County Executive Charlie A. Dooley, he is working on a deal for new oversight over the museum and said he feared the report would hurt those efforts. “I don’t think it serves the purposes of our town to battle on and on about Bob Archibald’s vacation plan,” he said. Danforth also cautioned that contracts cannot be simply annulled. The History Museum said in an email Wednesday night that it cannot answer questions about the report. “These documents have not been reviewed, amended, or approved by the entire ZMD commission,” the email said. The ZMD oversees and distributes $70 million a year to area


The Missouri History Museum spent $875,000 in 2006 to buy this property at 5863 Delmar Boulevard. It is now valued at $232,300 by the city.

EXECUTIVE PAY The ratio of CEO compensation to revenue raised at area cultural institutions: Total CEO compensation, 2010 Revenue, 2010 Ratio Missouri History Museum $496,580 $16.3 million 3.1% St. Louis Science Center *$442,459 $25.9 million 1.7% St. Louis Art Museum $639,579 $56.5 million 1.1% Missouri Botanical Garden $404,477 $41.3 million 1.0% St. Louis Zoo $526,498 $69.7 million 0.8% *Figure for former president Doug King

cultural institutions from a property tax paid by St. Louis city and county residents. The History Museum receives about $10 million of the money.


Bosley was a member of the museum’s board of trustees when talks began with him about the Delmar property, and the museum never got an appraisal before the deal. Environmental studies showed the land was contaminated, but the museum did not use the information to negotiate a lower price. In all, the museum spent about $1.1 million, including various fees, for the deal. It wanted the property to build a community center, but the recession scuttled those plans. The land is now vacant, and the city values it at $232,300. Bosley and a partner had bought the land, which then included 1.65 acres, for $150,000 in 1999. They opened a barbecue restaurant on the property but it


quickly fell into financial trouble, and they owed thousands of dollars in back property taxes. Archibald and Bosley, who was mayor in the mid-1990s, have denied that personal and political connections played a role in the land deal. The report by ZMD board members picks apart various aspects of the deal, as well as other financial issues at the museum. Among the statements in the report: • The lack of an appraisal on the Delmar land deal was “reckless and not in the public interest.” • The museum’s claim that tax money was not used for the land deal is “a distinction without a difference since all the moneys received by the (museum) are fungible.” • The early talks with Bosley over his land were a conflict of interest since he was still on the board of trustees and allegedly “was privy to the budget established by (the museum) for purchasing his property. No other land owner ...

was privy to this information.” • When compared with other cultural institutions, Archibald’s compensation is “excessive,” especially since other St. Louis museums have grown funding from private sources “to a far greater degree.” Archibald’s total compensations for 2012 is $515,000, including salary, retirement and other benefits. “The benefits appear out of line for a nonprofit organization that is dependent for over 70% of its revenue from public money.” • Archibald’s housing allowance, which is $33,000 annually, is “unnecessary and inappropriate” since there are no requirements about where he should live. • Archibald’s accrued vacation days “are not appropriate and should be rescinded.” Archibald has banked 410 unused vacation days to cash out at retirement. He claims he did not use any vacation days between 1997 and 2007, the report says. If he were to retire at the end of this year, the retirement payout for the 410 days would be $580,000. Archibald used to receive eight weeks of vacation; he now has four weeks of vacation, but is still entitled to an additional six weeks for “historical research and writing.” • The museum’s executive compensation committee, which determines Archibald’s pay and comprises members of the board of trustees, relies on the museum’s law firm, Bryan Cave, to help set pay. The committee should instead seek guidance

from a “firm with knowledge and expertise in the same industry as the Missouri History Museum.”


The report also takes issue with the oversight of the museum. The museum has two boards. The board of commissioners is supposed to oversee tax money that the museum receives. The 10 commissioners, half approved by St. Louis County and half by the city’s mayor, were originally supposed to run the museum, but in 1988 essentially ceded those responsibilities and took a back seat to a nonprofit arm with a separate board of trustees that is not accountable to taxpayers. Former museum commissioners interviewed by the Post-Dispatch have said they were largely out of the loop on big decisions, not learning about purchases until after they were made and not seeing the budget until after the fiscal year had begun. The museum now has about 50 members on its board of trustees, though not all regularly attend meetings. “The Board of Trustees is too large and unwieldy to property govern the operations of the History Museum,” the report says. It recommends that a new deal be struck to put power back with the board of commissioners, with the trustees focused mostly on fundraising. Danforth is currently working on such a deal and said he already had a framework in place, with plans to present it to the ZMD board soon.


Danforth says much progress has been made on a new contract between History Museum trustees and commissioners

return calls seeking comment. Jeff Rainford, Slay’s chief of staff, said Danforth, 76, has a history of dealing with complicated issues and was unquestionably the right person for the job. “Should people be angry at the History Museum? Yes,” Rainford said. “Should people be angry at this nonsensical land deal? Yes. Should people be angry at Jack Danforth for trying to help fix it? No.” “There is not another citizen in St. Louis who has more integrity than Jack Danforth,” he added. But on Wednesday, at a meeting of the Zoo-Museum District board, some members questioned the possibility of a conflict. The ZMD oversees and dis-

tributes the tax money collected for five area cultural institutions, including the History Museum. A former History Museum commissioner who attended the meeting, Odester Saunders, was dismayed when Danforth urged the ZMD to steer clear of immediately debating Archibald’s pay and land deal. “I think you should be a man of much more integrity,” she told Danforth during a break in the meeting. “Everybody else is afraid of you,” she added. “I’m not.” For weeks, the History Museum has been criticized for its 2006 purchase from Bosley of one acre on Delmar Boulevard. Critics have also focused on Ar-

chibald’s compensation, perks and vacation plan. They point to problems in the museum’s governance. Museum management reports to a nonprofit board of trustees with 50plus members. But a separate, 10-member commission appointed by the city and county is supposed to oversee tax money the museum spends. That commission ceded power to the board of trustees years ago. Another Bryan Cave lawyer, Frank Wolff, has represented the museum since 1985 and helped negotiate the agreement that transferred power. The commission, though, is supposed to be responsible for approving taxpayer-funded ex-

penses. The museum receives about $10 million a year in tax money, or roughly two-thirds of its budget in 2011. Last week, political and museum leaders said in a statement that they had asked Danforth to “lead negotiations on a new contract that would comply with the law and balance the interests of all parties.” On Wednesday, the former senator outlined his progress publicly. He said he had met with the trustees as well as government-appointed commissioners, and had the workings of a new contract — one that gave commissioners much more authority. It would establish a joint budget committee, equal part trust-

ees and commissioners, and a joint compensation committee. It would spell out procedures for expenses over $300,000, the purchase of real estate, the public release of annual reports, and yearly training of board members. “I really would not have guessed that we would have come so far so quickly,” he said. After the meeting, Danforth urged ZMD board members not to “hang (Archibald) out to dry.” He said that Archibald was beloved by people in the community and that fundraising would be hurt if he left the museum. “Just help us,” he said to the group.

IRS arrests owner, 4 workers from area tax preparation firm

Kroenke buys out longtime partner in THF Realty

BY ROBERT PATRICK • > 314-621-5154


ST. LOUIS • The owner of a tax preparation franchise in St. Louis and four of his employees were arrested by Internal revenue Service agents Wednesday after being accused of falsely claiming educational tax credits on at least 47 tax returns for 2009. Mo’ Money franchise owner Jimi Clark, 57, of Memphis, Tenn., abused the American Opportunity Tax Credit to attract and keep clients, prosecutors said. Preparers filed for the credit on at least 47 returns for taxpayers who had not incurred any educational expenses, and claimed the same amount of such expenses — $3,765 —on the “vast majority” of them, their indictment says. In all, the 47 returns claimed more than $50,000 in educational credits. Clark, and Memphis residents Justin

Michael Staenberg, president of Chesterfield-based THF Realty, said Wednesday that he had agreed to sell his stake to his partner, Stan Kroenke. THF, a $2 billion company that develops retail centers nationwide, is currently helping to redevelop the Union Station facility downtown. Kroenke is the owner of the St. Louis Rams. “Stan and I put agreements in place 21 years ago to acknowledge that our individual circumstances and personal goals were subject to change and that it made good business sense to establish a mechanism to allow us to separate,” Staenberg said in a statement. “The process stipulated by the agree-

Buford, 26, and Mary Taylor, 48, and St. Louis residents Leslie Chaney, 43, and Ray Reed, 38, were indicted Oct. 10 on one felony count each of conspiracy to commit tax fraud. Prosecutors say Chaney, Reed and Buford also falsely claimed the credits for themselves. The indictment was sealed until the arrests Wednesday. Mo’ Money franchises have been the subject of repeated consumer complaints, and the corporate headquarters was searched by IRS agents this year, according to news reports. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued the company this year, alleging it bilked consumers with hidden fees and filed inaccurate tax returns.

ments was intended to achieve an economically fair and orderly transition of the companies from co-ownership to sole ownership.” Reached by telephone, Staenberg would not confirm details beyond the statement. Figures for the deal were unavailable Wednesday. THF is working with Maryland Heights-based Lodging Hospitality Management, which finalized its $20 million purchase of Union Station this month. The $50 million renovation of Union Station is to include $9 million of hotel work, along with improvements to the facility’s parking lots and office and retail space.

T H E N O . 1 S T. L O U I S W E B S I T E A N D N E W S P A P E R

FRIDAY • 12.21.2012 • $1.50

Archibald leaves History Museum

The assault-weapon debate PRESIDENT OBAMA

Wants ban on military-style rifles such as those used in school attack.


Bans on weapons, larger magazines would not stop criminals, the unstable.

Longtime president resigns amid controversy over land purchase, pay. BY DAVID HUNN 314-436-2239

ST. LOUIS • In April, Robert

power,” said Karl Schoenbeck, owner of On Target gun store and shooting range in Valley Park. “What they’re trying to do is, they are outlawing the lowest power of rifles.” Criminals could still acquire morepowerful rifles that would remain available under such a ban and could be modified to deliver rapid-fire damage, said Schoenbeck, who owns four of the

Archibald stood before trustees of the Missouri History Museum as they considered his salary and contract for the coming years. He would turn 65 in 2013, he told the board members that day, according to meeting minutes. But far from contemplating retirement, Archibald instead said he wanted to continue to direct the institution, and outlined the work he hoped to tackle over the next four to five years: a capital campaign, the Loop Trolley down Delmar Boulevard, and the museum’s 150th anniversary in 2016, among other things. Only “after completion of these responsibilities,” he told the committee, would he like the “flexibility to retire.” But on Thursday, the museum acknowledged that Archibald had abruptly stepped down as president of the museum, after 24 years as head of the institution. A few months after he had outlined his long-term goals to the

See GUNS • Page A7

See ARCHIBALD • Page A12


James Winkler of Manchester takes a peek at a newly purchased Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle resting on the counter at On Target firearms in Valley Park. Since last week’s school shooting, sales of the model have soared. BY KEN LEISER 314-340-8215

Jerry Scherrer uses his semiautomatic rifle in shooting competitions. Marc Perez takes his AR-15-style rifle target shooting, and occasionally to hunt deer. Jack B. bought his Sig Sauer semiautomatic rifle a couple of years back as an investment, knowing it could dou-

ble in value if the U.S. ever banned socalled assault weapons again. Since the Dec. 14 school shootings in Newtown, Conn., military-style weapons are indeed being targeted again for a potential ban. But owners — like those three interviewed at random — defend the rifles and the high-capacity ammunition magazines that some legislators want to prohibit. “These weapons that they want to outlaw are not sufficiently high in

National Register status was being sought for structure in JeffVanderLou area. BY STEPHEN DEERE 314-340-8116





A timeline of events leading up to Robert Archibald’s resignation as president of the Missouri History Museum. A12

Fire pension workers get unusual pay

Wind finishes off run-down historic building

ST. LOUIS • Carla Alexander had high hopes for the historic building that once housed her grandmother’s grocery in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood. The store was a hub for the community, and Alexander wanted to make it that way once again. She dreamed of bringing the vacant store back and also creating a learning center for teenagers and a home for senior citizens. But around noon Thursday, while Alexander was composing letters to solicit donations, she heard a loud series of crashes and felt the building shake. The store had collapsed in the day’s high winds. “We just didn’t get enough money in time,” she said. Alexander tried to get out through her back door, but a pile of bricks blocked her exit. Firefighters had to rescue her through a window. During the rescue, an exterior brick wall on that building crumpled.


Buyback allows administrators to trade vacation time for cash. BY DAVID HUNN 314-436-2239

ST. LOUIS • Three administrators of the Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis have together received more than $40,000 in holiday bonus pay over the past four years, even as city workers have largely gone without a raise. Every year during the first week in December, the three fire pension employees collected checks ranging from $2,400 to more than $6,000 — paid via the city’s payroll system as overtime. This year, Susan Degunia, an administrative assistant who makes nearly $70,000 a year, charged the system for 90.4 hours of overtime in the two-week pay period, or $3,032 extra. Marilyn Williams, an administrative secretary who is paid $56,500 a year and is the wife of system board member Bruce Williams, filed for 93.9 hours of overtime, or $2,550. And Vicky Grass, the system’s $120,000-ayear executive director, signed for 84.2 hours of her own overtime, costing the system $4,857. Over the past four years, Grass has been paid more than $20,000 in extra December cash.


One of the three buildings that are known as Tillie’s Corner at Garrison and Sheridan avenues collapsed Thursday. The center structure served as the main entrance to the neighborhood grocery store that Lillie Velma Pearson began operating in 1948.


• Thousands lose power in the season’s first winter blast. A8 • Solstice brings in winter that might be a little cooler than last. A9 • Midwestern snow strands travelers, causes huge pileup in Iowa. A10

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STILL NO DEAL ON FISCAL CLIFF Obama, Boehner can’t resolve differences as House vote on alternative plan is delayed. A13

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Pension administrators trade vacation for cash

Stephen Deere •

The Missouri History Museum spent $875,000 in 2006 to buy this property at 5863 Delmar Boulevard from former St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. At the time, the property included a closed restaurant.


• from A1

Museum president is scheduled to receive a vacation payout of about $567,000 this week trustees, Archibald suddenly came under stinging criticism for a controversial land deal and his compensation. “This is very surprising to me,” said Romondous Stover, chairman of the commission that oversees the museum’s tax funding, who said he was informed of the resignation Thursday morning. In recent weeks, museum leaders had vehemently defended Archibald. But at the same time, a tidal wave had grown against them. Some of the museum’s critics last week asked Alderman Joe Roddy to hold public hearings on museum finances and leadership. Roddy introduced a resolution at the Board of Aldermen meeting Friday, and it passed unanimously, giving the board’s parks committee, which Roddy chairs, subpoena power. That meant Archibald and museum trustees faced demands for records and a public grilling by aldermen. In addition, museum leaders were concerned about the impact of the controversies on fundraising. The museum’s 2013 budget was finalized this week. Leaders expect a dramatic drop in capital campaign donations — from $8 million expected this year to $3.75 million budgeted in 2013. Civic leaders have publicly expressed concern about large promised, but still unsecured, gifts to the museum. On Thursday, the museum denied a Post-Dispatch request to speak to Archibald or the trustees’ new chairman, former Arthur Andersen executive John Roberts. Everett Dietle, a spokesman for the museum, said members of the Board of Trustees would meet this morning to discuss the situation. He refused to elaborate until then. It was unclear Thursday what Archibald’s resignation means for his contract, which runs through 2013, or any compensation he may be due.

LAND DEAL QUESTIONED The museum’s public relations woes began in September. The Zoo-Museum District, which oversees $70 million in tax dollars sent annually to the area’s five cultural institutions — the St. Louis Zoo, Art Museum, Science Center, Missouri Botanical Garden and History Museum — released an audit report that raised questions about a 2006 land purchase on Delmar Boulevard, among other things. The museum bought the oneacre parcel for $875,000 from former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. without an appraisal, and despite studies showing the land was contaminated. Bosley was a member of the museum Board of Trustees when talks began. He had taken out hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans on the property, where he and a partner opened a restaurant. The land is now vacant, valued by the city at $232,000. Bosley and Archibald denied that personal or political connections played a role in the deal. The museum has since scuttled its plans to open a commu-

Timeline of events leading to Archibald’s resignation at museum‌ By FROM STAFF REPORTS

September 2012 • An audit report questions why the History Museum didn’t get an appraisal before buying a one-acre parcel on Delmar Boulevard in 2006 for $875,000. The site was owned by former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr., and was part of a larger parcel that Bosley bought seven years earlier for $150,000. The Post-Dispatch reports that Bosley and a partner took out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans on the property, where they opened a restaurant, and owed at least three years of back property taxes. Oct. 1 • Mayor Francis Slay organizes a meeting with museum leaders about how the institution is run. The Post-Dispatch had previously reported that a board of commissioners tasked with overseeing tax money the museum receives is not actively involved in key decisions; power rests largely with a separate board of trustees. Oct. 5 • The Post-Dispatch reports that Bosley was a member of the History Museum board of trustees when talks began about buying his property, representing a potential conflict of interest. Oct. 11 • The Post-Dispatch reports that environmental studies showed the Delmar property was contaminated with arsenic, lead and chromium, and could cost as much as $300,000 to clean up. The museum didn’t use the information to negotiate a lower price. Oct. 15 • Robert Archibald, the museum’s president, resigns from a board promoting a trolley line from the Delmar Loop to Forest Park, saying he does not want “the negative coverage that the museum is facing to adversely affect” the project. The museum had previously withdrawn a $1 million pledge to help fund the line, saying the donation hadn’t been “adequately communicated” to the board of commissioners. Oct. 18 • At the request of Slay and other leaders, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth agrees to negotiate a new power-sharing agreement between the commission and the board of trustees. Oct. 25 • The Post-Dispatch reports that a real estate expert the History Museum had consulted as it scouted properties advised the museum to pay $8 to $12 a square foot for land in the Delmar Boulevard area. When it bought Bosley’s property, the museum paid about $20 a square foot. Oct. 26 • The History Museum announces that it has shaved two years off Archibald’s contract and agreed to pay out more than $550,000 to him for about 400 unused vacation days. Archibald is down to a one-year contract, expiring at the end of 2013. Oct. 30 • Museum officials finalize an agreement, brokered by Danforth, to give more power and oversight to the board of commissioners. November • Members of the Zoo-Museum District board, which distributes tax money to local cultural institutions, begin a weekslong standoff over a report rebuking Archibald and the museum. The board is split 4-4 over the wording in the report, whether the museum had made enough reforms and whether to withhold tax funding. Nov. 30 • History Museum officials confirm they have hired a former federal prosecutor to investigate allegations that employees improperly destroyed documents related to Archibald’s vacation time. Dec. 14 • St. Louis aldermen approve a resolution to hold public hearings on the History Museum’s finances and leadership. Dec. 18 • History Museum officials finalize a 2013 budget, which shows an anticipated 50-percent drop in capital campaign donations. Dec. 20 • Museum officials confirm that Archibald has submitted a letter of resignation. From Post-Dispatch staff reports

nity research center on the site, blaming the recession. Archibald then came under fire for his $515,000 pay and benefit package, which includes a $375,000 salary, a car, multiple retirement plans, a $33,000 annual housing allowance and

six weeks of “research and writing” time on top of four weeks of vacation. Critics especially focused on 410 unused vacation days that Archibald had amassed from 1996 to 2007. His contract required the museum pay him for

those days, upon retirement, at the rate of his final salary. In October, after weeks of criticism over the land deal and Archibald, the museum announced that it would shave two years off his contract. The move meant Archibald had only a one-year contract, expiring at the end of 2013. In return, museum leaders agreed to pay him for his accrued vacation — now worth about $567,000, after he used some of the days — by Dec. 31. They said the payment would not come from tax money but from private funds set aside for his retirement. Archibald is due to receive the vacation payout this week. Roberts, the trustees chair, defended the payment in an interview on Tuesday. “It’s a contractual obligation,” he said. But it’s also what’s right, Roberts added: “Here’s a man who has devoted the majority of his career to this institution.” Archibald’s supporters have lauded his long tenure at the museum, noting a large building expansion, rising attendance, special exhibits and community outreach. Archibald also volunteered for a variety of civic projects, and once served on the city School Board. “I want to thank Dr. Robert Archibald for his years of service helping the History Museum become an important cultural institution that has enriched our community,” St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said in a statement Thursday. “I wish him the best in his future endeavors.” St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was especially appreciative for Archibald’s time on the School Board. “I’d personally like to thank Bob for his work on behalf of the city’s children,” Slay said in a statement. “His involvement in public education came at a critical moment.” Some members of the ZooMuseum District, who have been the museum’s most vocal critics, welcomed Archibald’s resignation. The district’s board distributes tax money to the cultural institutions. The History Museum receives about $10 million a year from taxes, more than two-thirds of its operating budget. “I think it was clear to him that the issue wasn’t going away,” district board member Charles Valier said of Archibald. “The publicity hasn’t helped them.” Another board member, Gloria Wessels, said it is “time for him to move on.” “It was never our intent to say that we want Bob Archibald to resign,” she said. “It was our intent for (the trustees) to come to the realization themselves.” Even Zoo-Museum District Chairman Ben Uchitelle, who fought fiercely against Wessels about her criticism of the History Museum and Archibald, acknowledged that the resignation may be good. “We have an opportunity to strengthen the History Museum with some new faces,” he said.

Grass said the payments have never been for overtime. They’re actually “vacation buyback,” authorized by pension board policy, she said. She just records the pay as overtime because it’s easier, she said. “We are not trying to hide anything, in no way, shape or form,” Grass said. City officials, however, were outraged when city Director of Personnel Richard Frank discovered the payments this week. Frank initially thought salaried employees were getting paid overtime, something not allowed in city departments. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Frank told the Post-Dispatch. “I just don’t know what to say. It’s like a bonus. “I felt like I had an obligation ethically to share this with the administration. I was just appalled.” Bonuses, Frank said, are often illegal in the state of Missouri for public sector employees. But it turns out that the fire pension’s vacation policies allow such buyback payments. The policy, which was approved in 1989, gives each employee six weeks of paid leave each year, according to system records. Employees can carry over up to six weeks each year, giving them, at max, 12 weeks of vacation they can use in one year under the policy. And, in December of each year, the system will buy up to two weeks of each employee’s vacation back from them, without any stipulations. In addition, a 2001 policy gives each employee a $500 bonus on Dec. 1. The overtime checks, Grass said, were simply two weeks of vacation buyback per employee, plus $500. She couldn’t immediately explain any discrepancy between that calculation and the actual payments, which were often a little lower and sometimes much higher, and bristled at criticism. “I have no clear idea where this is coming from, because we’ve been doing it for so long,” Grass said. “We all consider ourselves to be the most fortunate people in the world.” By Wednesday, the city’s budget director had inquired about the charges, the city counselor’s office had been asked to investigate and Mayor Francis Slay’s chief of staff, Jeff Rainford, declared that the payments were made at the expense of other city employees. “They decided to give themselves a Christmas bonus,” Rainford said. “That’s galling.” While the pension system is partially funded by city firefighters — they pay 8 percent of their salary each year into the fund — any marked dip in the fund balance is, by law, replenished by the city. That means, in slender years, tax dollars have to make up for increases in pension administration. This year, the city paid more than $21 million to the fund. City employees, Rainford noted, this year got their first raise — 2 percent — in several years. The fire pension system’s three full-time employees administer a fund of more than $390 million. It is a creation of state law, governed by a board of eight local appointees, most of whom are current or former firefighters. Board chairman Len Wiesehan could not be reached for comment Thursday. The pension system has been under extra scrutiny for more than a year, following a Post-Dispatch investigation revealing widespread misuse of fire disability retirements and dozens of additional benefits rubber-stamped over the years by city officials. Early this year, Slay introduced a plan to close the current system and open a new one with markedly less expensive payouts. He sought to cut many of the add-on perks and curb a disability pension so rich, his staff felt, that it encouraged firefighters to go out injured. Moreover, under the new system, the board would be governed by city law — not state law, as it is now — and its employees would be part of the city’s civil service system, which is governed by a lengthy and strict set of rules. Vacation buybacks would only be allowed under civil service guidelines if the worker was urgently needed yet had to either use his vacation or lose it, Frank said. Frank himself would have to sign off on it. He said the Fire Department asked for buybacks every year — but he hadn’t authorized such a move in five years. Now, however, it is unclear whether Grass and her staff will end up in the civil service system. After Slay’s plan passed through the Board of Aldermen, the pension board sued the city over the issue.

T H E N O . 1 S T. L O U I S W E B S I T E A N D N E W S P A P E R

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Bill would link casinos’ smoking Local bans would not apply if competitors had no restrictions. BY MARK SCHLINKMANN 636-255-7233

Obama touts progress, calls for partnership MINIMUM WAGE Raise minimum wage to $9 from $7.25 by 2015.

TAX REFORM Close loopholes, deductions for welloff, well-connected.

INFRASTRUCTURE $50 billion program to address most urgent needs.

An effort is under way in the Missouri Legislature to keep local governments from imposing tougher smoking restrictions for casinos than what their competitors face. The bill would prohibit local smoking bans at casinos if smoking is still allowed at a competing casino within 75 miles. It is sponsored by Rep. Bill Otto, D-St. Charles, whose district includes the Hollywood and Ameristar casinos. The measure would bar the St. Louis County Council from ending the exemptions from the county’s smoking ban for Hollywood in Maryland Heights and River City Casino in Lemay. The council has been considering in recent weeks removing those and most other exemptions. Hollywood, formerly known as Harrah’s, is just across the Missouri River from Ameristar in St. Charles, where there is no smoking ban. The state proposal also would prevent St. Charles County from enacting a smoking ban for Ameristar unless one was already in place at Hollywood and other St. Louis-area casinos. See SMOKING • Page A4

Museum paid $615,000 too much for lot Report done for Zoo-Museum District confirms bad deal in ’06.

CHARLES DHARAPAK • Associated Press

President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gives his State of the Union address Tuesday in a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. Charting his course

BY JULIE PACE Associated Press

WASHINGTON • Uncompromising and politically emboldened, President Barack Obama urged a deeply divided Congress Tuesday night to embrace his plans to use government money to create jobs and strengthen the nation’s middle class. He declared Republican ideas for reducing the deficit “even worse” than the unpalatable deals Washington had to stomach during his first term.

BY DAVID HUNN 314-340-8121

ST. LOUIS • The Missouri History Museum paid former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. in 2006 three times more for a lot on Delmar Boulevard than what it was worth, according to an appraisal released Tuesday. The museum shelled out $875,000 to Bosley and a business partner. The property’s market value, however, was only about $260,000 — a difference of $615,000, according to the appraisal. The land is now worth even less, just $214,970, the appraiser estimated. The Zoo-Museum District, a government body that oversees $70 million annually sent to the region’s five tax-supported cultural institutions, including the History Museum, commissioned the appraisals late last year. District directors hoped to get clarity on the museum’s Delmar purchase, which had set off months of inquiries into museum business, leading to an aldermanic hearing, a circuit attorney investigation and the resignation of the museum’s president, Robert Archibald.

In his first State of the Union address since winning re-election, Obama conceded that economic revival is an “unfinished task,” but he claimed clear progress and said he was preparing to build on it as he embarks on four more years in office. “We have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and we can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is strong,” Obama said in an hour-long address to a joint See SPEECH • Page A8

Fiery end to standoff where ex-cop holed up LAPD official says site is ‘too hot’ to search for body.

INSIDE GOP’s Rubio rips Obama’s speech Republican assails tax increases, more deficit spending. A8 U.S. troops to return home Half of those in Afghanistan will return within year. A8

Police officer will give tips on school, work security Free seminars will discuss the ‘Mr. Uncomfortables.’ BY CHRISTINE BYERS 314-340-8087

See MUSEUM • Page A6

within, but a Los Angeles police spokesman said in a televised news conference late Tuesday that the smoldering remains of the cabin near Big Bear Lake were “too hot to enter” and that any reports that Dorner’s body had been found were wrong. LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said authorities were “still in a holding pattern to search” the rubble. Smith said that until Dorner’s body was positively identified “or he’s in shackles,”

ST. LOUIS • Joe Spiess feared that an employee he disciplined might seek violent revenge, and took the concern to his boss. “You better make sure you have your gun handy,” was the supervisor’s advice, he recalled. “The next thing I know, the guy is shooting paint balls at Spiess my window.” That workplace was the St. Louis Police Department, where Spiess is a major. The employee, who retired, hasn’t taunted him in years. But the episode — underscored by the dismissed Los Angeles cop gone violently rogue — shows that even trained and armed police officers are vulnerable. About five years after Spiess’ uncomfortable encounter, he was a

See DORNER • Page A9

See SECURITY • Page A4


The cabin in Big Bear, Calif., where ex-Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner was believed to be barricaded burns Tuesday, in this image taken from video provided by KABC-TV. BY GILLIAN FLACCUS AND TAMI ABDOLLAH Associated Press


Have a root vegetable renaissance with five recipes for winter fare. Let’s Eat • L1

BIG BEAR, CALIF. • The extraordinary manhunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of three murders converged Tuesday on a mountain cabin where authorities believe he barricaded himself and engaged in a shootout that killed a fourth person, a deputy, before the home went up in flames. A single gunshot was heard from

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Several Zoo-Museum District directors agreed Tuesday that the appraisals were enlightening, if also concerning. “It’s clear now that there was no administrative supervision,” said Charlie Valier, an area lawyer and district director who has long been critical of the History Museum’s board of trustees. “And the price paid for the property was grossly, grossly over what it was worth. It indicates complete negligence on the part of the trustees and employees of the History Museum that supervised the acquisition.” Valier and fellow director Jerome Glick released the reports, written by the Hottle Appraisal Co. They cost the District $10,000 in total, Glick said. History Museum Chairman John Roberts, who has defended the purchase in the past, said in a prepared statement Tuesday that Hottle’s findings were troubling. “Hindsight suggests, and we agree, that our process at the time should have been much more thorough,” he said. At the time, trustees had authorized a purchase not to exceed $1.5 million for land on which to build a community research center. When informed of the actual cost of the Bosley property, hundreds of thousands less, “trustees believed that the project was proceeding appropriately,” Roberts said. Future board oversight must, Roberts continued, be “more aggressive and collaborative.” Bosley, however, contested the new appraisals and defended Archibald. “People knew Delmar was getting ready to take off,” he said. “They knew those parcels had value.” Museum leaders, too, argued for months that the Delmar lot was worth the $20 per square foot that the museum paid. But Hottle’s report concluded that comparable land was selling for far less in 2006 — between $3 and $7 per square foot. The news came to light last fall, after a Zoo-Museum District audit report and a series of Post-Dispatch stories. The History Museum bought the property — without first seeking an appraisal — from Bosley and his partner, who had opened a struggling restaurant, Big Jakes Bar-B-Que, on the site. The land was contaminated, requir-


Bosley contests new appraisals, defends Archibald

St. Louis

Forest Park



Forest Park

Missouri History Museum Post-Dispatch

ing up to $300,000 for environmental cleanup. And Bosley was a member of the museum’s board of trustees when talks about the property began. The controversy, and later questions about Archibald’s compensation, hurt the museum’s fundraising efforts. In December, Archibald resigned — leaving town with a six-month, $270,000 consulting contract from the museum board. Roberts said Tuesday in his statement that such a purchase would not happen again. The museum has adopted new measures for stronger oversight, including a rule that real estate purchases must have independent appraisals. Bosley, who was mayor from 1993 to 1997, maintained Tuesday that his personal and political connections to Archibald had played no role in the land deal. “He mentioned to me he was trying to find some property on Delmar,” Bosley said Tuesday. “I said, ‘Well, why don’t you take a look at Big Jakes?’ And next thing I knew, somebody called me.” But just because he had a relationship with Archibald doesn’t mean the purchase was suspect, Bosley repeated. “I’ve known him for an awfully long time,” Bosley said. “Archibald was one of the greatest men to come to this community. And they ran him off. “He did more for this town than ... all of his detractors put together.”

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Charles Creel, of St. George, said he had owned a computer hardware repair business before he became homeless and moved into Rev. Larry Rice’s New Life Evangelistic Center downtown. Kenda Leile, who used to live in Creve Coeur, told the St. Louis County Council Tuesday night, “I had a stroke and I ended up homeless.” Dennis Charlton said he once had a home and a business. Now he’s homeless. “I’ve been on the streets, with nowhere to go, nowhere to get warm,” he told the County Council. “All we want is a place (in the county) where we can come in out of the cold.” The three were among 16 homeless people who along with Rice implored the council to open a countyfunded shelter. A spokesman for the administration of County Executive Charlie A. Dooley said later that the county had been searching for a site for a shelter and was narrowing in on one. St. Louis County Council Chair Kathleen Burkett, DOverland, said she expected the county would open a shelter. The county owns a shelter for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence but not a homeless shelter for men and women. Rice has been waging a major campaign in support of a county shelter since last year, including setting up an encampment in north St. Louis County and organizing a petition drive and a sit-in outside Dooley’s office on Christmas Eve. “We have a crisis,” Rice told the council Tuesday.

“There’s a tremendous need for a walk-in shelter in St. Louis County ... I don’t want someone else to die like Anna Brown,” a homeless woman who died in a local jail after being arrested at a hospital where she had sought care. Several speakers were from St. Louis County but have been living in Rice’s shelter downtown. Some speakers, including Angela Gladden, told the council they never imagined they would end up homeless. “I never thought I would be standing here begging for help,” Gladden said. Speakers said city shelters are overcrowded and the county has a moral obligation to open one. In a letter last April, Dooley said that the county “had been working to address the needs of homeless residents in the county for many years, and we are undertaking an expanded effort to identify homeless families, to address their physical and mental health

concerns and to determine their housing needs.” In a December letter to area mayors, Dooley said the county had received 4,127 requests for a homeless emergency shelter but service providers were only able to serve 1,175 of those. On another issue, a bill to allow a zipline adventure course in Creve Coeur County Park advanced Tuesday night and Burkett said she expected it would be approved next week. The Go Ape project advanced despite a plea that it be rejected from James Ruffin, president of the St. Louis Audubon Society. Ruffin said it posed a major risk to bird health. He said his organization represents about 3,000 members in the area. “Creve Coeur Memorial Park is not just any park, but one that has been designated by National Audubon as an Important Bird Area — a designation reserved only for those areas with sensitive or significant habitats,” Ruffin said.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch coverage of financial problems at the Missouri History Museum

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