Sunset Hills mayor calls out ‘freaks’ who opposed him, assails aldermen

Furrer says those who voted to impeach him are ‘pathetic’

Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer, right, posted a selfie with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay following Furrer's KMOX appearance.

Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer, right, posted a selfie with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay following Furrer’s KMOX appearance.

By Gloria Lloyd

Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer had already made the media rounds by the time the Board of Aldermen met for the first time since Furrer’s felony charges were dropped, but near the end of last week’s meeting, he defiantly called out all the city’s aldermen in what he vowed would be his final statement on the matter.

Furrer granted his first interview to the Call after the felony charges against him were dropped, then made a series of radio and television appearances to tell his side of the July 2014 incident with bicyclist Randy Murdick of Fenton.

County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch alleges that “unassailable” eyewitnesses still support that Furrer hit Murdick with his car.

But the prosecutor dropped assault and property damage charges against Furrer Jan. 27 over questions surrounding Murdick’s credibility after the cyclist exaggerated the extent of damage to his bike in testimony at Furrer’s trial in December, which ended in a mistrial.

Barely pausing to take a breath Feb. 9, Furrer said he could finally let out what he called 18 months of frustration at the “freaks” who opposed him, including aldermen who attempted to impeach him last year, who are “sad” and “pathetic.”

The board rejected articles of impeachment that accused Furrer of hitting Murdick but voted 7-1 in September 2014 to approve a vote of no confidence in Furrer, with acting board President Tom Musich opposed.

Furrer did not name most of those he criticized, but he repeatedly singled out his chief critic, Ward 1 Alderman Dee Baebler, mispronouncing Baebler’s name as “Babbler.”

“On a final note, just to clear the record, I’m sure you’ve heard me on Charlie Brennan, you’ve seen me on TV, you’ve seen me in the paper,” he said. “Eighteen months ago, I had an unfortunate encounter with a gentleman, and I said initially I was innocent. I maintained my innocence throughout 18 months of pure hell from people on this board who convicted me, who trashed me, who lied about me, who tried to force me out, who tried to impeach me, who made my and my family’s lives unbearable to the point where I almost hit the breaking point.

“I held my head high, I knew I didn’t do it, I fought it till the end, and not only was I exonerated, the prosecutor called the alleged victim a liar. My story was the only one of three — the two witnesses and a victim — the story never changed.

“Their stories changed repeatedly, we’ve got a five-page press release if anyone is interested in that … But I want everyone to know that your leaders on this venue trashed me in a country where you’re innocent until proven guilty — except in Dee Baebler’s world, and the other people on this board.”

Referring to the aldermen, Furrer said, “None of them have had the class to apologize to me, to congratulate me or anything. Ms. Baebler is still trashing me on her Facebook page — which incidentally she bans anyone from using if they disagree with her. If they post comments she doesn’t like, she deletes their comments. So these are the people you elected — think of them in April when they run for re-election. Because I naively believed since I was a child that in America you’re innocent until proven guilty, but not in the fine city of Sunset Hills.

“These people conspired with the biker, they conspired with the witnesses to destroy me because they didn’t want me as mayor. I broke up their little clique, they didn’t want me from the start — and that’s the thanks I get for holding my head up high. It would have been very, very easy for me to walk away (from office), and my attorney begged me not to because he said it would make me look guilty which I knew I was not.

“And I just want you all to realize what a fine group of people you have up here. Not one of them has apologized. They all convicted me. They said I was guilty, they attended bike rallies, they handed out bottles of water (to bicyclists).

“The papers — particularly the Call, which all my friends call a rag sheet — supported them in their quest. The South County Times has been relatively … neutral. Charlie Brennan and some other people on ‘Donnybrook’ trashed me, again spreading the lies that have been told for 18 months. So I went on the Charlie Brennan show to clear that up.

“I just want to thank all my supporters, and as I’ve said to everyone else: The people who know me know I wouldn’t have done it. The people that hate me like Dee can hate me. It’s the people in the middle that give me the funny looks at Dierbergs, that point at me at Helen Fitzgerald’s — (they) are the ones I want to hear the truth.

“Baebler … thinks I’m not qualified and competent to be mayor. Dee Baebler, who deletes comments she doesn’t like, thinks I’m a bully. Dee Baebler, who deletes people, thinks I’m a bully. Her husband went so far as to write a letter to Charlie Brennan on KMOX claiming that I better not mention her name. Charles Brennan laughed at it and said, ‘Who are these people? You can say whatever you want.’

“To my supporters, I want to thank you all. For the freaks, I want to say, you’ll always be a sad, pathetic person. To the people in the middle, I hope they read the truth that thankfully even the Call had to print. So that’s the end of my statement on this, and I hope to never mention it again. But just remember that these are the people that you voted for …”

Gesturing up and down the row of aldermen, Furrer said, “But these people all condemned me, called me a criminal and convicted me from the get-go.”

Then, just as suddenly as Furrer started his statement, he ended it. “Next — invoices to be approved,” he said.

The next day, Furrer made a clarification on his Facebook page of exactly who he had intended to call out at the city meeting.

Although he had gestured up and down the row at all the aldermen as he criticized them, Furrer said on Facebook that he was not directing his comments toward Musich or the two aldermen who were elected after the impeachment attempt, Ward 2 Alderman Steve Bersche and Ward 3 Alderman Keith Kostial, who was attending the meeting by phone.

In last April’s election, Bersche defeated former Ward 2 Alderman Scott Haggerty, and Kostial replaced the city’s retiring, longest-serving alderman, former Ward 3 Alderman Jan Hoffmann.

Furrer said he was referring in his statement to Haggerty, Hoffmann, Baebler, Ward 1 Alderman Richard Gau, Ward 3 Alderman Kurt Krueger and Ward 4 Alderman Pat Fribis. The mayor apologized to Musich, Kostial and Bersche, but not to Ward 4 Alderman Donna Ernst, who had voted to approve the no-confidence vote but opposed impeachment.