The litigation comes down to a battle between rival port authority boards, one including appointments from County Executive Steve Stenger, and the other appointed by the County Council.
The Stenger-backed port authority filed the lawsuit in November, asking the court to “eliminate the crippling uncertainty” and decide which board is valid. The dispute has gridlocked important port business, including the award of grants, consideration of easement requests, and the purchase and sale of real estate, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit named the monolithic St. Louis County as the defendant. The county’s response, written by County Counselor Peter J. Krane, didn’t take issue with which board was legitimate but said the county “intends to rely on the Charter of St. Louis County.” Then seven members of the port authority appointed by the County Council sued to intervene “to ensure that their interests are adequately protected.”