Wesley Bell dismisses three veteran prosecutors, and announces policy changes

CLAYTON, Mo.  – One day after taking office new St. Louis County Prosecutor, Wesley Bell, fired three veteran assistant prosecutors.

Long-time top assistant prosecutors Kathi Alizadeh and Ed McSweeney, along with assistant prosecutor Jennifer Coffin were informed Wednesday that they were suspended or terminated.

Alizadeh and McSweeney had both been with the office for more than 30 years and said they were dismissed without warning and without meeting Bell. Alizadeh was one of the prosecutors who presented evidence to the grand jury in the Michael Brown shooting case.

McSweeney said he was suspended because of a Facebook post he made in August criticizing Bell.

Both were given a two-page explanation for their dismissal but they said were no precise details given.

When Bell was sworn into the office January 1 his tone was much different. Bell talked about inclusion and the importance of the existing staff in the prosecutor’s office.

Bell also made some policy changes on day one. They will no longer prosecute people for marijuana possession less than 100 grams or for failure to pay child support.