Mehlville email investigation reaches dead end

Mehlville school officials indicated last week their investigation into a political email has reached a dead end as the company through which the message was distributed will not release the name of its client.

Deputy Superintendent Eric Knost said marketing firm Constant Contact told the district it is against the company’s policy to name the owner of the account that was behind the email.

The district at this point could pursue legal action at the Board of Education’s request, Knost said, but added that the move would cost money and “I really question where we would get with it other than if we wanted to officially say whose name was on that client list.”

The email, sent April 4, advocated the election of Michael Klund to the Mehlville Fire Protection Board of Directors. It was titled “Mehlville Firefighters and Paramedics Support Mike Klund” and was formatted as a newsletter with the letterhead of Local 1889 of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

Klund on April 5 narrowly lost his bid for the board seat to incumbent Chairman Aaron Hilmer.

Klund has said he was “completely unaware” of the email being circulated.

The email was sent to roughly 420 district staff addresses and to at least one parent address. A disclaimer at bottom of the message stated, “Email addresses used for this email were compiled through various family, friends, supporters of Mike Klund, the Mehlville Firefighters and Paramedics and public records, like taxpayer-funded websites.”

District policy prohibits it from accepting political advertisements, and officials have stressed no one requested or received permission to use the email addresses.