The City of Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen meeting took an unexpected turn March 13, 2014, when George Wehner, whose special-use permit application for an auto body and repair shop and auto sales business at was up for consideration, issued what could be taken as a threat to city officials.
“You guys need to remember what [Charles Lee] ‘Cookie’ Thornton [did] to Kirkwood City Hall,” Wehner said. In 2008, Thornton gunned down several city officials at Kirkwood City Hall before being shot and killed.
After the meeting, police chief Eric Bennett said Wehner’s comment was noted. He said the department has been on alert since the 2008 Kirkwood shooting for any situations that have the potential to escalate and veer into dangerous territory.
In a telephone message left March 15, 2014, on a voice recorder at the Ste. Genevieve Herald office, Wehner apologized for the Thornton comment. “I was under a lot of stress at the time, and in no way did I mean it as a threat,” Wehner said.
City officials said that Wehner had not (yet) issued an apology to the city at press time.