PINE LAWN, MO – A man identified as having ‘’sociopath behavior’’ rose to the ranks of police commander. Our Fox Files investigation uncovered the information while looking into complaints to authorities that the police officer drugged and raped women.
While Steve Blakeney was trying to graduate a police academy, St. Charles County police investigated the allegations in 2006, but Blakeney was never charged.
Here’s a timeline put together from details laid out in the 2006 St. Charles County sexual misconduct and statutory sodomy investigation.
The reports say Blakeney attended the St. Louis Police Academy and was ‘dismissed’ October 2, 2002 for “sexual harassment.”
In 2003, he enrolled in Eastern Missouri Police Academy in St. Peters. There detectives found Blakeney was ‘’on probation for numerous infractions,”’ including ‘’gawking at females when told to stop’’ and ‘’…lies he told the director…’’
Then an Eastern Missouri Police Academy trainer told detectives, ‘’Blakeney should never be allowed to become a police officer because of his sociopathic behavior.’’
The academy told police it dismissed Blakeney before he could graduate.
SLU law professor and police licensing expert Roger Goldman says he`s not surprised.
‘‘This gets to exactly my point, why departments can hire people who have been fired for all kinds of misconduct,’’ he said.
Goldman says P.O.S.T., which stands for Police Officer Standards and Training, could`ve denied Blakeney his police license, but he said P.O.S.T. must follow a strict statute, only denying or revoking a license to someone who has ‘’committed a crime’’ or ‘’violated moral turpitude.’’
Missouri P.O.S.T. won`t answer if it knew about the reports uncovered in our Fox Files investigations and Goldman adds that P.O.S.T. lacks teeth.
‘’The problem is the legislature … doesn`t really fund it. There was only one investigator for the entire state. I believe it`s up to two,’’ Goldman said.
Two investigators currently oversee about 700 Missouri police departments.
In 2007, Steve Blakeney got his first police job; New Athens, Illinois hired him.
In 2008, Blakeney entered the Southeast Missouri State University Police Academy and got his license in 2009. That led to a six year stint with Pine Lawn, a city that would eventually promote him to police commander.
In 2012 Bel-Nor Police Chief Scott Ford wrote a three page letter warning that Blakeney ‘exposed his handgun’ … ‘while consuming alcohol’ in a ‘(North County) bar.’ When about the letter, Ford said, ‘’I am surprised that you have this document.’’
He wrote to then-Pine Lawn Police Chief Ricky Collins. Ford described what his female officer said was ‘harassment,’ reporting Blakeney would ‘’randomly show up on her traffic stops’’ which were outside of Blakeney`s jurisdiction, ‘blocked… lanes’ and once ‘’told her he was going to mess with subjects she had detained.’’
‘’I wanted it just to be addressed and for the behavior to stop,’’ Chief Ford said.
Later in 2012, St. Louis City police investigated Blakeney for forcible rape. The prosecutor cited lack of evidence and didn`t charge him.
Pine Lawn promoted Blakeney to police commander later that same year. The city fired him last December after two women wrote statements saying they woke up in Blakeney`s house and didn’t know how they got there.
Blakeney remains licensed by P.O.S.T.
I asked Roger Goldman, ‘’Do you think it`s feasible that he could actually get hired by another department?’’
‘’No doubt about it, he clearly can,” Goldman said. ‘‘Again on the same grounds for a municipality that even has fewer resources. After all, the guy does have his P.O.S.T. certificate.’
Regarding ‘`resources,’’ Goldman means that departments in poor communities sometimes take chances on less qualified officers.
But it’s also unclear what would have come up on Blakeney’s background check since he was never fingerprinted in any of the investigations against him.
The third academy in which Blakeney enrolled also may not have known about his history. The first two academies raised concerns only under subpoena from St. Charles County detectives investigating Blakeney in 2006. The official reason the academy gives is that Blakeney ‘’withdrew for personal reasons.’’
Blakeney responded to the allegations in this report very simply. He said it`s “all false and defamatory.”
He filed a wrongful termination suit against Pine Lawn on Thursday, saying the city fired him as payback. He said problems began when he became a key witness for the FBI, against the mayor who’s currently under indictment. He`s asking for $5 million.
Blakeney also points in his lawsuit out that he’s highly decorated, awarded the Medal of Valor in 2010 and winning last year`s Missouri State Investigator of the Year honor.
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