Phone message leaves Wentzville alderwoman shaken

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WENTZVILLE, MO (KTVI) - A Wentzville alderman says he used the wrong word when he suggested a fellow alderman's election opponent could be "eliminated." However, that is not satisfying the alderwoman who says she felt threatened by the phone message.

Alderwomen Linda Wright brought the issue to the forefront during a regular board meeting Wednesday night. She played the phone message from her colleague, Alderman Matt Swanson.

In the message Swanson said, "I just got a call from somebody who wants to talk to you and hopefully we can eliminate your opponent. So if you get a chance, give me a call and I think you'll be really pleased with what I have to say."

Alderwoman Wright said she was scared by the message and wondered if she would be safe and if her election opponent would be safe. She added during the Wednesday meeting, "Is there a payoff coming to someone?" She believes it is an effort to get her to stop supporting the current mayor, Nick Guccione, who is being challenged in his reelection bid.

Alderman Swanson said Thursday he meant no harm to anyone in his message. While Wright believes it was an inappropriate effort to influence her vote, Swanson thinks she is retaliating against him politically. He believes the city board should investigate Mayor Guccione. However, board members decided during a closed executive session not to do that. Wright said she believes there is no concrete evidence the mayor did anything wrong during the selection of a new city prosecutor.