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St. Peters Alderman Michael Shea resigns

St. Peters Alderman Michael Shea [Ward 3] has resigned from the city’s Board of Aldermen citing health reasons.

Shea presented a letter of resignation to the board before its Sept. 13 meeting. He did not attend that meeting or a board work session before it.

Shea was roundly criticized by local veterans in June 2017 who came before the board and accused him of parking a vehicle in city parking spaces designated for Purple Heart recipients.

The Purple Heart is a U.S. military decoration awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are wounded by an enemy combatant or those who are killed or died of wounds received in action.

In 2016, the board directed staff to designate three parking spaces for Purple Heart recipients. The pavement for each space is painted purple and marked with a sign bearing the Purple Heart logo and the words “combat wounded.”

Shea, a retired 21-year U.S. Army veteran with combat tours in Vietnam and in southwest Asia during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, did not respond to the comments at that June board meeting. However, in August, Shea posted comments online saying the city was “insensitive” to other combat wounded or disabled veterans who haven’t received the medal. In a later interview, he said he was exposed to Agent Orange, a defoliant widely used in the Vietnam War era suspected of widespread health impacts.

Shea was elected as a Ward 3 alderman in 2015 and also served on the St. Peters Veterans Memorial Commission.

Lisa Bedian, communications manager for the city, said the city is looking at options to fill the seat, which may include appointing someone to serve out Shea’s term [ending in 2019], holding a special election or leaving the office open.

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