Sheriff Says He's Ready to Turn It All Over to Deputy, Captured on Camera

Sheriff Says He’s Ready to “Turn It All Over” to Deputy, Captured on Camera

A former deputy’s video of St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts indicates that the sheriff is considering a replacement to take over as head of the department, despite Betts’ intense reelection campaign.

Betts is seen on the video saying, “I ain’t here for all this rigmarole,” while sitting behind his desk at the Carnahan Courthouse. “I believe I did a decent job, and I’m doing my best to turn this department around—the Lord placed me here to accomplish this. I will be eligible for my fourth pension in around eight months.”

He continues: “Right now I can walk up out of here and live happily ever after and forget about all this…and live like a king.”

Next, the sheriff explains that his wife has been in Atlanta house hunting and that Betts has been preparing Donald Hawkins, the second officer in the room, “to turn it all over to him.”

Sheriff Says He's Ready to Turn It All Over to Deputy, Captured on Camera (1)

“I plan to win reelection on August 6th by a wide margin and to continue my mission as the top elected law enforcement official to make St. Louis safer and stronger,” Betts told the RFT when questioned about the video. I plan to fulfill my holy role of serving the people of St. Louis with honor, honesty, and professional law enforcement qualifications.

After 24 years of service, Barbara Chavers, who retired from the sheriff’s office in 2016, took the video of Betts. At Schnucks on Grand and Gravois, Chavers is currently a security guard. Additionally, Howard, Betts’ brother, works security there.

Chavers says the RFT that last Thursday after Betts’ brother informed the sheriff of her support for Montgomery, she was called to Betts’ office. It was no knowledge that Chavers was backing Betts’ opponent, Alfred Montgomery, in the next election, having recorded a Facebook live video. She can be seen on the video saying,

“Make the judges safe,” while in front of a huge Montgomery sign on Gravois Avenue. “They need a sheriff who is going to make their courtrooms safe.”

Betts informed Chavers he was “flabbergasted” and “stunned” that she was backing Montgomery in his office, despite Chavers making it obvious that she was taping him.

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He adds himself, “I don’t know what I did that would make you go against the preacher man.” Montgomery is then described by him as “ungodly.”

Betts continues, saying that not too long ago, he was strolling around his area on St. Louis Avenue close to 20th Street when Montgomery’s automobile suddenly drew up. According to Betts, Montgomery then said, “You motherfucker, you this, you that.” You’re removing my placards.

Outside of campaign forums and neighborhood meetings, Montgomery claims to the RFT that he has never had any contact with Betts.

Montgomery claims that no sensible person would harm a sitting sheriff in such a way.

Montgomery has had missing campaign signs and has seen someone ripping them down on camera at least twice. (Chavers observes that the sign she used as the backdrop for her first Facebook video has since disappeared.)

A man who lives close to Columbus Square claims that two Montgomery placards he had recently put out have since vanished. “If they keep taking them, I’ll keep putting them up,” he replied.

Betts claims he is unrelated to the missing placards. In the video that Chavers shot in Betts’s office, Betts claims that his campaign isn’t in a position where it has to destroy signs belonging to rival candidates.

“If you sit here long enough, a man is getting ready to come across the street from City Hall bringing me $500, today,” Betts declares. “That type of support is coming my way. I don’t have to take down any signs.

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