Brent Stafford pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charge of trespassing at the first raucus St. Charles County caucus on March 17.
Stafford, a prominent supporter of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul was arrested by St. Peters Police after the caucus was disbanded. At the time of the arrest, St. Peters Police said two people—Stafford and Kenneth Suitter—were arrested for trespassing after receiving numerous warnings to leave the school property. Both subjects were transported to St. Peters Justice Center where they were booked for trespassing and released on a summons.
The first caucus on St. Patrick's Day, at Francis Howell North High School, went unfinished after a disagreement between rival candidate supporters. A dispute arose over the use of recording devices and police shut the event down to regain control.
After the meeting was shut down, Stafford said he was trying to reconvene the meeting in the gymnasium. He said a two-thirds majority was needed to close the meeting, and there was nowhere close to that vote.
“Nobody seemed to understand or have any will to follow Roberts Rules of Order,” Stafford told Patch after the arrest.
Stafford tried to reconvene the meeting inside the gymnasium, however, police asked him to leave so he went outside to the parking lot.
“The majority of the people in the caucus wanted me as chairman,” Stafford told Patch. “I was the only one who seemed to have any idea of how to reconvene a meeting. I was trying to get some business done.”
Stafford stood on a chair in the parking lot in attempt to reconvene the meeting there.
“I guess I was visible since I was standing on a chair. I was told to leave the gymnasium, and I did,” he told Patch. “I was never told to leave the parking lot. I wasn’t trying to incite a riot. I was trying to reconvene a meeting.”
The other man arrested, Suitter, of St. Charles County, also was charged with trespassing. His initial court appearance is set for July 31.