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Podiatrist Lawrence Iken and his company, Iken LLC have been sentenced for healthcare fraud in false claims for payment from Medicare and Medicaid services not provided. Restitution: $1.75 million and 12 months and one day in prison. His offices are in Creve Coeur and Manchester and he claimed serving patients in various nursing homes.


This rich city today, suffering from San Andreas of the mind: We can’t be what we were but we don’t like it what we are. Fat cat city where the sky was the limit for the haves in days of yore. Some were the leaders and the gutter was too good for the others, snubbed society types, who raised blue-nosed hell about the nouveau riche. Most were members of the St. Louis Country Club and the “Mink and Manure” set as characterized by an early edition of the now-defunct Look magazine. The surnames can identify families who were pressed into action by the Veiled Prophet order: Werner; Desloge; Bakewell; Papin; Shepley; Rand; Gladney; Bixby; Cherboniere; Brodhead; Gardner; Niedringhaus; Skelly; Conant; Polk; Terry; Fouke; Wallace and Compton. (It’s difficult to shrug off the older generation.)


The just-released lineup for the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC includes, in the true-crime category, Andrew Jenks’s moving “dream/killer,” about a notorious instance of wrongful conviction and imprisonment in Missouri. According to The New York Times, Jenks “exhaustively chronicles the case of Ryan Ferguson, sentenced as a teenager to 40 years in prison for the random murder” of sports editor Kent Heitholt in Columbia, MO. The filmaker “capably orchestrates suspense (if you don’t already know the outcome) and benefits immeasurably from an immensely likable central character, Ryan’s father, Bill, who narrates his own decade-long battle to win his son’s release.”


The Joliet diocese has settled 14 predator priest cases for $4.1 million. Two of the clerics worked in our town. One is Fr. Fred Lenczycki, the first U.S. priest to be deemed a “sexually violent predator.” He was at two local hospital (DePaul and Deaconess) and three local parishes (St. Blaise Parish in Maryland Heights. North American Martyrs in Florissant and St. George’s in south St. Louis county). The other is Fr. Lawrence M. Gibbs, who has been called “Joliet’s most notorious” and “savage” predator priest. Ironically, in 2002, when he was first sued, Gibbs was a state social worker in St. Louis investigating abuse allegations against the elderly.


The worst the St. Louis area can get is still better than any place else. Boosterism of the worst kind? The kind of statement that makes a city smug, complacent and indolent. All of which we are. The city has never been in better shape say some pols. Maybe they meant Des Moines or Peoria., but I doubt it. And yet, and yet. . .
ONE OF OUR TOWN’S leaders, Jim O’Mara has been taken away from us. A blood clot struck him two days after he played 18 holes of golf. He will be remembered as a man of great integrity, media shy and devoted to his family and the more than 3,500 members across eastern Missouri of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 as longtime business manager. Before his retirement, he wielded influence as a political and labor leader. He helped elect dozens of public officials. O’Mara was also a member of the St. Louis County Council.
HIS SON, MICHAEL “Mike” O’Mara is International Representative of the United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters and Sprinklefitters and Democratic member of the St. Louis County Council Dist. 6
Our hearts go out to Jim’s family.


Crafty ploys are played by big companies when it comes to taxes. Some
send income abroad so the U.S. can’t touch them. Overall, they’re
stashing $1.17 trillion off shore and almost half that money, $462
billion, is from tech companies.


Here’s a fact that Bev Randles, GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, will probably leave OFF her campaign bio and literature: her hubby Bill was a long-time lawyer for tobacco companies. Bev has received a $1 million political donation from Rex Sinquefield.


Tomorrow, April 15: 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theatre; 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was buried in Hyde Park. Another somber note: Income Tax Deadline.

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