Member of school board sends warning letter to St. Louis mayor

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

ST. LOUIS -- A letter signed by a member of the St. Louis School Board places a curse on Mayor Francis Slay.

The open letter, sent to the press and signed by board member Rochell Moore, is filled with Biblical references. It says the Lord would smite Slay and anyone who helps him because of the position he has taken against the city's public schools. It says, in part, that "the angel of the Lord shall pursue Francis Slay until he perishes."

Slay spokesman Ed Rhode said the mayor's office did not consider the letter a threat. "It's a very sad situation for Ms. Moore and the children she's supposed to represent. It's evident that she needs professional help," he said.

Moore, 39, provided her own medical records to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier this year, indicating a six-day hospital stay. She claimed that she was fed cocaine and committed to a hospital psychiatric unit last fall in an attempt to sideline her and control school board dynamics. A doctor who petitioned a court for Moore's detention indicated she had "a long history of bizarre behavior."

The St. Louis public school district has hired a corporate turnaround firm to try to improve the schools. Slay supported a slate of new board members who have been instrumental in some of the proposed changes.

Moore, elected in 2001, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the letter was intended as a prayer.

"It was the most provocative way I could get his attention and let him know we're praying," she said. "I don't believe in violence."

The School Board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a budget that calls for the elimination of 1,400 jobs in the district as part of a major restructuring effort. Moore has been outspoken against the corporate turnaround firm's plan.

Moore said, "I'm not a violent person, but I can't say what other people might do. We're talking about 1,400 jobs."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: