Ferguson City Manager Quits

But John Shaw says he never 'heaped abuse on the poor'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2015 12:01 AM CDT
Ferguson City Manager Quits
The issue of an apology to Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was debated during the public comment portion of a Ferguson City Council meeting last night.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Laurie Skrivan)

More Justice Department report fallout in Ferguson: City manager John Shaw has agreed to step down, and the city council voted 7-0 to approve a "mutual separation agreement" last night, reports the New York Times, which notes that Shaw was the most powerful official in Ferguson but had been largely in the background until the report's release. In his resignation letter, Shaw disputed the report's findings, saying he had "never instructed the police department to target African-Americans, nor falsify charges to administer fines, nor heap abuses on the backs of the poor," reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 39-year-old, whose resignation became effective at midnight last night, had been in the post for eight years.

In emails cited in the Justice report, Shaw greeted news of soaring revenue from municipal court fines with responses like "Wonderful!" and "Awesome!" The report did, however, acknowledge that Shaw and Mayor James Knowles had worked to make changes after the investigation began, the Times notes. Knowles is still mayor, but Ronald Brockmeyer, a municipal judge cited in the report, stepped down on Monday. Concerns about Brockmeyer were raised years ago, but Shaw told the city council that despite some issues with the judge, the city could not afford to "experience any decrease in our fines and forfeitures," the Post-Dispatch reports. (More Ferguson, Missouri stories.)

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