Westfall suffers from infection

'Buzz' Westfall

‘Buzz’ Westfall

By Alyson E. Raletz

Suffering a severe staph infection, St. Louis County Executive George R. “Buzz” Westfall remained hospitalized earlier this week and temporarily had to pass his duties to County Council Chairman Greg Quinn, R-west county.

At the Call’s press time Monday, Westfall was “heavily sedated” and unaware of his surroundings, Westfall spokesman Mac Scott said during a Monday afternoon press conference.

Westfall had checked in to Christian Hospital Northeast in north county last week for chronic back pain and the infection developed.

“We anticipate a full recovery,” Scott said.

However, he said neither doctors nor family members could estimate how long his recovery would take.

Until Westfall’s “temporary disability” improves, executive office representatives recommended that county councilmen reappoint a democrat from the council to serve as acting county executive.

Charlie Dooley, Kelly Burkett and Michael O’Mara, all of north county, are current Democrats serving on the council.

Councilmen were scheduled to vote Tuesday — after the Call went to press — for a new acting county executive.

At that meeting, Quinn would not have had voting privileges and would not have served as council chairman.

John Campisi, R-south county, is the council’s vice chairman.

“My prayers go out to him and his family,” Campisi said.

On behalf of Westfall family members, Scott requested that everyone respects their privacy and to not contact them at the hospital nor their homes.

Westfall is serving his fourth four-year term as county executive.

Before being elected as county executive, Westfall served as prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County from 1978 to 1990.