The St. Louis Police Officers’ Association (SLPOA) has issued a cease and desist letter to Gary Wiegert, its former president, following recent false representations and copyright infringements in a TV ad, the association said.
Wiegert appears in a pro right-to-work commercial, which the SLPOA said he is not authorized to speak about on behalf of the SLPOA. The organization also reminded Wiegert in the letter that he was expelled from the association in 2012 for “unauthorized activities.” According to his LinkedIn profile, Wiegert is a sergeant at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
Mike Kegel, vice president of SLPOA, said that expelling a member is “extraordinary” and that to his knowledge, “Mr. Wiegert is the only member to have been expelled in the 50 year history of the SLPOA.”
“In the visual ads, you prominently display the copyrighted logo of the St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) on your clothing,” the letter to Wiegert stated. “You also reference an association with the SLPOA. As you and the campaign are specifically aware, SLPOA vehemently opposes so called Right-to-Work (for less) legislation and is working diligently to defeat Proposition A on August 7, 2018.”
Copies of the letter were also sent to the out-of-state Super PAC funding the TV spots, SLPOA said. In addition, the letter was sent to St. Louis area TV stations carrying the commercial and SLPOA plans to ask its parent organization, The Missouri Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), to disseminate the letter to other stations around the state.
Both the SLPOA and the FOP have voted to officially oppose Prop A on the Aug. 7 ballot.
National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix issued the following statement in response to the cease-and-desist letter:
“This type of bullying is exactly why Missouri needs the protections Right to Work laws offer. The fact that these are the lengths union officials are willing to go silence any dissent among rank-and-file workers demonstrates exactly why every worker should be able to refrain from supporting a union if they choose.”