St. Louis chamber CEO faces new allegations as board continues review

The St. Louis Regional Chamber’s former second-in-command is publicly alleging the current CEO created a hostile work environment before she left in 2013.

Thursday’s comments from former chamber chief operating officer Beverly Estes came after Steven Cousins, a partner with the law firm Armstrong Teasdale, said in a June 2 email to Chamber board members that the organization’s executive committee was reviewing allegations made in anonymous letters against CEO Joe Reagan.

“I would call it a hostile work environment,” Estes, who was COO from 1997 to 2013, said in an email Thursday. “Several employees who had worked at the Chamber for a number of years were not treated in what I felt was a humane way.”

Chamber spokesman Tim Beecher, a crisis communications specialist at FleishmanHillard, said the committee’s ongoing review “has not identified any improprieties” and concluded some allegations are false. Beecher said the Chamber “is following up on this matter in a timely and comprehensive manner.”

The Chamber did not provide a response to Estes’ comments. Neither Reagan nor board Chairman Warner Baxter, president and CEO of Ameren, were made available for comment.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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