12.5.15

Page 18

LOCAL

A18 • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

M 1 • SATUrDAy • 12.05.2015

Street was part of major downtown success AVENUE • FROM A1

pocked with asphalt infill after recent underground work by Ameren. “It’s a shame to have something so beautiful after so much work end up like this,” said Missy Kelley, chief executive of Downtown STL Inc. The city says it simply doesn’t have the money to keep the street the way it was designed. So, for example, patchwork is often done with asphalt instead of the original materials. Public utilities tear up the street, but they are allowed to reimburse the city for repairs at rates meant for streets with fewer amenities. “It’s a good lesson learned going forward that we factor in a long-term maintenance fund,” Kelley said. The streetscape plan was part of a major success for downtown. It created a pedestrian-friendly stretch filled with new bars and restaurants as well as millions of dollars’ worth of loft developments. In 2011, the American Planning Association named Washington Avenue one of America’s “10 great streets.” Over the last 15 years, downtown has seen its population boom, with

LAURIE SKRIVAN • lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Construction workers rip up Washington Avenue in 2002 to widen and beautify the street as part of more than $350 million in investment going on along the eastern end of Washington in downtown St. Louis.

most residents flocking to the area around Washington Avenue. Downtown STL says it has asked the city to give it an estimated cost to maintain and restore the streetscape. Todd Waelterman, the city’s operations director under Mayor Francis Slay, said his team was working on compiling the detailed cost study. He said exact figures were not yet available. “We have some very expensive amenities down there, from the zipper in the middle to the street

lights to the brick sidewalk,” Waelterman said. “It was built pretty extravagantly.” Waelterman said the city would need outside help to keep the street in the best condition. He said that meant involvement from Downtown STL. Downtown STL already pays for maintenance on several of the street’s amenities, including bulb replacements for the Christmas-style lights that hang over a portion of the street. But many of the street’s problems go beyond maintenance — including the

damage utilities make without paying the full cost of restoration. Waelterman said Ameren had done a lot of work downtown and had paid significant amounts of money to repave several streets. “In a normal average street, we end up with a great product,” Waelterman said. But on Washington Avenue, he said, “it could easily cost 10 times what they’ve been paying on the other streets.” For example, Waelterman said the “stone zippers” running down the

Campaign has notiied U.S. attorney’s oice KINDER • FROM A1

LATER

HOURS

His campaign said it had been tipped off by someone whom it did not identify about “financial discrepancies” dating back several years. The tip came shortly after Kinder announced in July that he was entering the governor’s race, the campaign said. Pam Dixon, who serves as Kinder’s campaign adviser, attorney and spokeswoman, said Friday that the information was shared at the time with the U.S. attorney’s oice for the eastern district of Missouri. U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan would not comment on any potential investigations but confirmed that he had been alerted to problems by Kinder’s campaign. “In July, we received some information from the committee about some possible financial irregularities,” he told the PostDispatch Friday night. “It did not involve the committee.” He declined to comment further. Kinder’s campaign filed numerous amended campaign finance reports Friday, adding expenditures that in some cases occurred several years ago. Some of the additional expenses were to his longtime campaign consultant David Barklage, who had worked for Kinder for more than 20 years. Others were to Logan Thompson, Kinder’s former campaign

manager. Barklage and Kinder severed their relationship this year when Barklage went to work for rival Republican gubernatorial candidate John Brunner. Barklage told the PostDispatch that his consulting firm first noticed discrepancies between Kinder’s campaign finance reports and bank balances, and that it initiated an audit but that it had not been completed when Barklage left Kinder’s campaign last summer. “We did the political work and media (for Kinder), we didn’t do the financial side. It was just something that came up that we saw and had concern on,” Barklage said. Barklage said his parting with Kinder had nothing to do with the finance report discrepancies. Rather, Barklage said, he had already decided to work with Brunner when Kinder decided to run for governor. Barklage’s firm, Barklage and Knowdell, released on Friday night a statement mirroring his comments to the Post-Dispatch: “Our company is the one who first reported potential discrepancies to the Kinder organization last year. Our company also initiated an audit of the books prior to ending our relationship which was taken over by the campaign after we left. Our company did no financial reporting for Lt. Governor Kinder in

either the 2008 or the 2012 campaign, nor any time since 2012. Our firm ended its long-term relationship with the Lt. Governor when the Lt. Governor decided to run for Governor which created a conflict of interest for the firm.” Barklage said he is still working with Brunner. Brunner’s campaign could not be reached for comment Friday night. As Kinder’s general consultant, Barklage told the Associated Press, he had authority to approve expenditures but his own expenses were approved by Thompson. Barklage said his duties did not include hands-on management of the campaign’s finances. Thompson could not be reached Friday evening. In several three-month reporting periods, the changes in reports showed that contributions had initially been under-reported. Coleen Shea, Maverick Consulting LLC, and YPYKYA Inc., all gave more than was previously reported through the three months ending March 31, 2015. It was previously reported that YPYKYA Inc. contributed $500 total to the campaign through March 31, when it actually gave $3,000, according to the amended report filed Friday. In an amended report for the three-month period that ended Dec. 31, 2014, the changes reflect that

Mon-Thurs: 10am- 6:30pm

greater amounts than first reported were given to the campaign by AnheuserBusch, Gary Rust and Missouri Insurance Coalition PAC. In the initial report filed Jan. 16, 2015, AnheuserBusch was listed as having given $1,000 to date. The amended report, filed Dec. 4, shows AnheuserBusch actually contributed $2,000 in aggregate through that reporting period. Also, a $1,000 contribution made by Hallmark Cards Inc. was added that was not previously reported. A large discrepancy in cash on hand also was revealed for this particular reporting period. At the close of the three months that ended Dec. 31, 2014, reports previously showed more than $55,000 was available. That figure was actually closer to $164, according to the amended report. After learning of financial irregularities in his campaign, Kinder closed out his previous campaign committee and opened a new one. He also hired a certified public accountant, who the campaign said was a former Internal Revenue Service agent, to review its financial reports. Alex Stuckey of the Post-Dispatch and the Associated Press contributed to this report. Samantha Liss • 314-340-8017 @samanthann on Twitter sliss@post-dispatch.com

636 394 3005 DauFurniture.com

Fri and Sat: 10am- 5:30pm

Bradington Young Swivel Recliner SALE price starting at

Bradington Young Recliner SALE price starting at

$1,998

$1,398

CHOOSE YOUR STYLE, AND SAVE COMFORTABLY. Dau Furniture is currently ofering 40% of MSRP on leather recliners by Bradington Young. For a limited time, enjoy great savings on these comfortable, quality products. DAU FURNITURE

15424 MANCHESTER ROAD, ELLISVILLE, MISSOURI 63011

middle of the street would carry “an extraordinary” replacement cost. So, Waelterman said, the city didn’t ask Ameren to pay for returning the street to how it was. Ken Worland, director of Ameren’s underground division, said Ameren was upgrading its infrastructure downtown, which required tearing up Washington Avenue. He said the company had gotten a cost estimate from the city and agreed to pay for the repaving. When asked if Ameren was informed of the complexity of restoring Washington Avenue, Worland said: “I don’t think that was ever a discussion point.” He said Ameren didn’t get involved in the details of the repaving. “They’ll send us an invoice and we’ll pay the invoice,” Worland said. Worland said he was not sure what could be done now. “We’ve been having a conversation with the city about what to do,” Worland said. “I know the property owners aren’t happy with the paving job.” Brad Waldrop, a downtown developer with property on Washington Avenue, said the city allowed the streetscape to be “destroyed through misman-

agement and fiscal irresponsibility.” “It is good that the city leveraged taxpayer money to create a purposefully customized street to attract private investment,” Waldrop said. “It is bad that the city and Ameren are showing our state and federal governments they are wasting the 1999 funding.” Waldrop said he had spoken with Ameren before the utility did the work. He said Ameren had told him Washington Avenue was “special.” “They said they had taken specific precautions to resurface the street and maintain its customized stone and granite components. They budgeted to do it right and not do a patch job,” Waldrop said. But that’s not what happened. Jared Opsal, who heads the Downtown Neighborhood Association, said he hoped the problems could be fixed. “We would definitely like to see more investment to maintain what we have down there because it definitely adds a sense of place which spurs economic activity,” Opsal said. Nicholas J.C. Pistor • 314-436-2239 @nickpistor on Twitter npistor@post-dispatch.com

Harris-Stowe will appeal, oicial says COLLEGE • FROM A1

compensatory damages for lost wages and emotional distress. On a third count, the jury decided in HarrisStowe’s favor, rejecting a claim that administrators discriminated against Kader based on race. Thursday’s decision follows a decision this fall when a jury awarded another former HarrisStowe College of Education professor $5 million after finding the school discriminated against her because she is white. In that case, jurors agreed with plaintif Beverly Wilkins’ allegation that the College of Education was systematically trying to purge itself of white faculty. On Friday, HarrisStowe spokeswoman Pier Scott said the university “vehemently denies” that Kader was discriminated against in any way. “ H a r r i s - S towe i s committed to creating a nondiscriminatory work environment consistent with its long-standing discrimination policy,” she said. Both lawsuits name LaTisha Smith, the former dean at the College of Education, as a driving force behind the discriminatory behavior. Smith started at the university in 2007. She has since moved on to St. Louis Public Schools, where she is the director of curriculum development and achievement. Smith did not respond to a request for comment. Kader’s lawsuit dates to 2007 when she was pursuing her doctoral degree at Pennsylvania State University. While there, she applied and was accepted for a job at Harris-Stowe. The suit says HarrisStowe agreed to apply for a work visa on Kader’s behalf. Under U.S. immigration law, only an employer can petition or apply for a working visa for a noncitizen employee. Later in 2007, Kader began working at HarrisStowe. Her suit alleges Harris-Stowe administrators “ignored her requests for updates, falsely assured her that the visa application would be submitted and ultimately failed to take the necessary steps to obtain” the visa before it expired. As a temporary measure, Kader obtained an extension through May 2010 on her existing work visa through Penn State.

During the 2008-09 academic year, the lawsuit says, Kader attended an out-of-state conference with Smith during which Smith said Kader “would never progress in the College of Education” because Kader was “not in the group.” Kader also alleges that in the spring of 2010, she received a poor performance review that Smith said stemmed from harsh critiques from students. When Kader asked to see the critiques, it touched of an openly hostile relationship between the two women, the suit alleges. That specific incident led to Smith’s working behind the scenes trying to get Kader fired, attorney Eric Playter said. The allegation jibes with an allegation made in the Wilkins suit that accuses Smith of being hostile to nonblack employees and working to block their career progression at the university. After a culmination of incidents, Kader went to Harris-Stowe’s administration with allegations that Smith was discriminating against her based on her race and national origin, Playter said. Later, Playter said, Harris-Stowe administrators told Kader the documentation needed for a work visa had been lost. In July 2010, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services denied Kader’s petition for a work visa. “She was denied because Harris-Stowe didn’t respond to repeated requests from the USCIS for documentation,” Playter said. Harris-Stowe officials later used the government’s denial of a work visa as grounds for not renewing Kader’s contract, Playter said. Scott, the university spokeswoman, denied that claim and said Harris-Stowe intended to appeal. Playter said the verdict was an affirmation that anti-Muslim ideology is wrong. “This jury recognized that people who come to this country to be educated and to educate have something to offer,” he said. “They are not hatemongers; they care about this country and they shouldn’t be discriminated against based on where they are from and what they look like.” Koran Addo • 314-340-8305 @KoranAddo on Twitter kaddo@post-dispatch.com