ST. LOUIS– St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell has disqualified Division 8 in the 21st Circuit. Bell says he instructed his staff and prosecutors to disqualify the judge from hearing any cases effective immediately.
Bell’s office issued a press release saying the judge was party to an email chain originated by a former employee of the Circuit Attorney’s office who published misinformation about a charging decision.
FOX2 has learned the case Bell is referring to involves Terry Tillman and Bell’s decision to not seek charges against the police for Tillman’s shooting death at a parking lot near the Galleria.
Following that announcement, Ed Magee, the former top assistant to former Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, wrote a ‘Letter to the Editor’ in the Post-Dispatch criticizing Bell for his delay in announcing a decision.
On December 20, The Post-Dispatch wrote a story about the email chain Bell is referring to. The Post-Dispatch reports that Magee sent an email string to several of his former colleagues, including Judge Dean Waldemer.
In a statement to FOX2, Judge Waldemer said his receipt of that email was unsolicited. The Post-Dispatch says the email included a longer version of what was published in his letter to the editor.
This afternoon, through a spokesman, Judge Waldemer explained he had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the drafting or distribution of Mr. Magee’s letter. Judge Waldemer reiterated that Mr. Magee’s email to Judge Waldemer was unsolicited
Mr. Bell said, “We will not allow the integrity of our cases nor the safety of the public to be compromised by anyone, including sitting judges.”
The statement said that misinformation caused unnecessary confusion and pain for the family of the deceased.
The statement also says the misinformation had the potential to jeopardize the safety of the residents of the county and law enforcement.