ST. LOUIS (AP) — An appeals court ordered the St. Louis police department to turn over records of its internal investigation of a scandal involving several officers who gave friends and family members tickets to the 2006 World Series that had been confiscated from scalpers.
The eight officers and six supervisors were disciplined for giving away the tickets to the three games played in St. Louis during the series, in which the Cardinals defeated the Detroit Tigers in five games. But the police department refused to turn over the records of its internal probe, leading the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri to sue, saying the records should be released under Missouri's Sunshine Law.
A circuit judge agreed with the ACLU, and on Tuesday, the Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals concurred, ordering the records released.
"When government officials engage in on-the-job misconduct, the public has a right to know what happened and how it was investigated," Tony Rothert, the ACLU branch's legal director, said in a statement.
City officials did not immediately respond to messages Wednesday seeking comment.
In August, Circuit Judge Robert Dierker ordered the police department to pay the ACLU $100,000 in legal fees related to the case, saying the department "compounded its knowing violation of the Sunshine Law."
Police said the investigation began with a complaint from someone who said his confiscated tickets were used improperly during the World Series. Joe Mokwa, the police chief at the time, said the incident shook the public's trust in the department.
The exact number of confiscated tickets that were given away isn't known, but each had a value ranging from $50 to $250.
The internal affairs documents are being held by the circuit court. They could be released in about two weeks of police do not appeal the ruling to the Missouri Supreme Court. It wasn't clear if an appeal was planned. Messages seeking comment from the St. Louis Police Officers Association were not immediately returned.