Unconfirmed rumor received that Richard St. Louis of Crest Associates was found dead in Georgia. I don't want to trivialize this mans life but I do hope he left a large, "just in case something happens", envelope.
The Herald reports that Mr. St. Louis hung himself yesterday while visiting relatives in Georgia. His name has surfaced in numerous articles regarding FBI and EOPS investigations into misuse of federal terrorism money and grant money specifically earmarked for regionalization teams in the Commonwealth. Was a crony of both Jajuga and Flynn. This doesn't bode well for those two, unless he had some other undisclosed personal demons.
Target in probe of law grants is a suicide
By Sean P. Murphy, Globe Staff, 2/18/2004
Richard St. Louis, a law enforcement consultant and former state Executive Office of Public Safety official who was under investigation for his involvement with grants the office distributed, committed suicide yesterday in Georgia, where he was visiting relatives.
The FBI is investigating St. Louis and his consulting firm, Crest Associates. Last week, the Westwood police chief asked the US attorney's office and state attorney general to launch their own investigations, alleging that the firm created fraudulent invoices to justify spending federal grant money.
"It's heartbreaking and a horrible personal tragedy for his family," said Kathleen O'Toole, the incoming Boston police commissioner, who was the state public safety secretary when St. Louis served as that agency's chief of staff several years ago.
Andover Police Chief Brian J. Pattullo, who worked closely with St. Louis for four years, said St. Louis was "extremely distraught" in recent days because he felt his "reputation for the highest level of integrity had been tarnished."
"I think we will find that he did nothing illegal, but for Richard it was a tough struggle, because he felt he had let a lot of people down" because of the FBI investigation, Pattullo said. "I'm very saddened and shocked and feel devastated for his wife and family."
St. Louis's name first surfaced in late October in connection with an FBI investigation into possible mishandling of grants. Since then, St. Louis and Crest Associates have been the subject of numerous news reports.
Crest Associates advises police departments how to obtain grants to develop law enforcement initiatives. The grants come from federal funds, which were distributed by the Executive Office of Public Safety. Since 2002, Crest has helped secure about $7 million in grants for about 10 clients, nearly all the grant money the public safety office has handed out for large projects, according to state records.
Last week, Crest's work on behalf of the Westwood Police Department came under scrutiny after a Globe report raised questions about invoices assembled by the firm in 2003 to document spending of about $90,000 in grant money. Westwood Police Chief William G. Chase reviewed the invoices and asked the US attorney and state attorney general to investigate what he called "inflated and fabricated" invoices.
Mark W. Pearlstein, St. Louis's lawyer, said his client committed suicide in Georgia, where he had relatives.
St. Louis's brother had invited him to Georgia because he "was under a lot of stress," according to a former state official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"This is a horrible tragedy," Pearlstein said in a statement released on behalf of the family. "Richard St. Louis was a man who dedicated his professional life to the improvement of law enforcement in Massachusetts. He was a good and decent man, devoted above all else to his family. Contrary to unfair and inaccurate rumors and innuendo, he never violated any law or took any action which even threatened to sully his reputation. His passing will be keenly felt by all who were privileged to know him." Pearlstein declined to comment further.
Two people who spoke on the phone from St. Louis's parents' home in New Hampshire declined to comment.
Pattullo -- president of the North East Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, one of three regional groups of police departments represented by Crest -- said police chiefs with whom he spoke yesterday "all expressed the highest opinion of Richard St. Louis and the work he did on behalf of law enforcement."
Crest was instrumental in bringing millions of dollars to the North East Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council for such projects as a homeland security communications system and a protocol for assessing the threat level for violence at schools.
Last week, Chase requested an investigation of a $250,000 grant that helped establish a regional group, made up of about 40 police departments, known as the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council. Crest was responsible for filing reports on the grant with the state public safety office.
The council held a board meeting yesterday and was scheduled to consider whether to cancel another contract with Crest for monthly consulting, but no action was taken, according to a police chief who attended.
Also yesterday, a spokeswoman for the FBI declined to comment on St. Louis or Crest, citing the agency's policy of neither confirming nor denying an investigation. A call seeking comment from the US attorney's office was not returned.
Christine Cole, deputy chief of staff to Public Safety Secretary Edward A. Flynn, also declined to comment. Flynn had confirmed the FBI probe in December.
St. Louis, 38, grew up in Methuen, was a 1987 graduate of Merrimack College, and received a master's degree in public administration from Suffolk University, according to his resume. In 1992, he went to work for the state comptroller's office and then spent about a year as a budget analyst for the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.
In 1994, St. Louis moved to the Executive Office of Public Safety, where he became executive director of that office's grants program and eventually served as chief of staff to O'Toole when she was public safety secretary in 1997 and 1998.
After a brief stint at the state office of the chief medical examiner, St. Louis founded Crest Associates in 1998. Operating from a basement room in his Methuen home, St. Louis built up the business by adding clients such as the Greater Boston Police Council, the Essex County sheriff's office, and the police departments in Andover, Arlington, Burlington, Concord, Melrose, Methuen, Oak Bluffs, Peabody, and Wakefield.
Last year, St. Louis and his wife and two children moved from Methuen to West Newbury.
"For over 10 years, I have known Richard to be a tough, driven, innovative, and honest" person, said a friend and business associate who requested anonymity. "His style and personality have clashed at times with officials resistant to change, and this has earned him intense animosity from those whose egos have been bruised along the way."
The former state official called St. Louis "a no-nonsense guy" who was known for his intensity and well-liked by "management types."
"He had no patience with slackers or people who were incompetent," the official said. "He always had the reputation of being incredibly principled, and that's why it's such a shock [for him] to have been the subject of such scrutiny. His reputation defied any of that. It's so bizarre."
Don't get fooled by the Westwood chief, he's ass deep in it himself. The request for an AG investigation is just a very poor attempt at a smoke screen to deflect blame. Remember, the former chief Robert Haas is now under secretary to Flynn at public safety. That made room for the current chief. So, read bewteen the lines....both the current and former chief are very tight with Jajuga and Flynn....hhmmmmmmmmm. :-&
But, I think you're right. It doesn't look good for Flynn and Jajuga. I'm just waiting for the official "Let's Blame Dick St. Louis" chorusline to start.
I harbor no illusions about Flynn nor his lackeys at EOPS. I do find it terribly ironic that the organization that Flynn, Haas, St Louis et al, have been working so hard to circumvent via their regionalization will now most probably play a large part in their invest. Who says there is no justice, it warms my heart to think a few at Crest and EOPS will be needing some extra strength Tums and Rolaids. I hope Mitt comes to his senses and jetisons this guy back to Virginia, post haste. Me thinks "SWEATSHIRT GATE" is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
Article in today's Globe on-line(boston.com) confirms more of what I already knew to be true. St. Louis' suicide has intensified the fed grand jury probe into the incestuous relationship bewteen Jajuga, St. Louis, NEMLEC, numerous police Chiefs, EOPS and ol' Flynnie himself. Hopefully, justice will be served and the ridiculous amount of grant $$ received($7 million in 2001 & 2002 alone) by these hacks with be returned along with their crime scene vans, ICVs, sniper rifles, pajamas, face paint and autographed DVD copies of the 70's TV show SWAT.
A federal grand jury investigation into the handling of grants during James P. Jajuga's 16-month tenure as state public safety secretary has intensified following the Feb. 17 suicide of Richard St. Louis, a friend of Jujuga's and a former state employee who received more than $2 million as a consultant from grants approved by Jajuga.
FBI agents late last month obtained hundreds of pages of financial documents from the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, the regional organization of about 40 municipal police departments that received a majority of the largest grants awarded during Jajuga's tenure, according to a local law enforcement official familiar with the investigation and a review of grant records.
The FBI investigation is focusing on Jajuga's role in approving about $7 million in grants in 2001 and 2002 to law enforcement organizations represented by St. Louis, according to a state public safety official familiar with the investigation.
St. Louis's clients paid him $2.1 million under the terms of those grants, state records show. St. Louis is described in grant applications and invoices as providing his clients with resource development and grant administration services, according to a Globe review of grant records.
The FBI is trying to determine whether St. Louis's fees were paid by law enforcement organizations in exchange for getting approval for a grant, according to the public safety official.
Last week, FBI agents investigating grant paperwork submitted to the state last year by St. Louis contacted the New Jersey automotive company that sold three emergency response vehicles to Massachusetts law enforcement organizations, according to a person familiar with the FBI's phone call to the New Jersey supplier. The FBI asked the automotive company to supply full documentation for the vehicle purchases, according to the person familiar with the phone call. Last month, a police chief involved in the grant program wrote to federal officials that Crest Associates, St. Louis's consulting firm, submitted "fabricated or inflated" invoices to the state.
Also late last month, the FBI contacted employees of the state Executive Office of Public Safety for information on St. Louis's relationship with police chiefs in municipalities that have received grants, according to a person familiar with the FBI's calls to state employees.
A small cadre of employees at the public safety agency last March went to the FBI to disclose St. Louis's central role in the grant program, according to state employees familiar with the FBI investigation. While the program is run by the state, funding comes from the US Department of Justice. The grants are intended to underwrite law enforcement initiatives.
The employees told FBI agents that St. Louis, as the administrator of grants, filed financial reports so lacking in details that the state employees who were supposed to be monitoring the grant program could not determine how much money St. Louis was being paid, according to state employees familiar with the FBI probe.
In much of the grant paperwork, fees are listed as being paid for "contract services," without specifying the recipient.
Jajuga left office in January 2003, replaced by Governor Mitt Romney's own public safety secretary, Edward A. Flynn. Jajuga went into business as a public safety consultant, and collaborated with St. Louis in at least one project involving an attempt to secure grants for the state drug court. Jajuga and his lawyer, Thomas Kiley, did not return calls seeking comment.
St. Louis hanged himself on Feb. 17, in Georgia, where he was visiting a brother. Mark W. Pearlstein, St. Louis's lawyer, declined to comment on the investigation.
Meanwhile, officials in Flynn's office said last week that an outside auditing firm will be hired to conduct a detailed audit of grant expenditures.
I'm been waiting for Flynn to make that move for quite some time. It would be reasonable to give him the "up and out option" back down to VA/MD/DC area. He never moved his family back up here when he took the job at EOPS. Or else he can join the patron saint of police chiefs(aka Bill Bratton) out in LA. Dont' hold your breath, though.