A potential conflict has been
found concerning the role of the 4th sub districts
elected board member Kurt Breininger for the Southern
Platte County Ambulance Districts Board
During the boards first
meeting on Aug. 14, resident Paul Gross posed
the following question to every board member,
Are there any members of the board who are
employees of a fire district or an ambulance district?
Gross asked this question in order to make sure
there were no conflicts of interest. The minutes
for this meeting state how Breininger responded.
Im a firefighter,
but Im not employed by an ambulance district
or within the Southern Platte County Ambulance
District, Breininger said.
Some now insist Breiningers
statement was false since he failed to disclose
the fact that he has apparently worked part time
as a paramedic for the Metropolitan Ambulance
Services Trust (MAST) since July 8, 1997. He also
holds a full time position as a city firefighter
for North Kansas City. His wife Jackie has been
employed full time as a paramedic by MAST since
December 3, 1984.
Although the board has not publicly
advertised or taken bids for this service, MASTs
executive director, Douglas Hooten, has sent a
letter to the board of directors stating the costs
of MASTs coverage to provide ambulance services.
Bids cannot be formally placed for this ambulance
service until 60 days after the tax levy has been
Hooten was aware of Breiningers
intent to run for the 4th sub district's elected
seat and felt it was necessary to inform the board
of Breiningers employment with MAST after
he won the election.
I advised chairman (Bobby)
Kincaid of Kurts employment with us because
I think they need to be aware of it, said
Hooten. MAST wants to make sure we have
fully disclosed any information the board needs
The Landmark has learned that
Kincaid contacted four attorneys to seek their
counsel on this issue. Two of these attorneys
stated there was no conflict of any kind. The
attorneys mentioned include the boards hired
attorney, Mark Hubbard, two Union attorneys and
an unidentified counselor.
Kincaid made one brief comment
about the Breininger issue.
This is not an issue for
the board, Kincaid stated over the telephone
Board member Ron Wheeler refused
The fact Breininger ran for this
seat without informing residents about his potential
conflict of interest angers some Platte County
resident. Gross, who questioned the board about
any ties to a fire or ambulance district, had
suspicions before he addressed the board.
I already knew there was
some relationship between Kurt (Breininger) and
the firefighters, Gross said. I asked
the board this question based on an item I found
in the statutes. I brought a copy of this to the
meeting and showed it to the boards attorney,
Mark Hubbard. Hubbard stated this particular law
was not relevant because it only concerns firefighters
and not ambulance districts. The board seems to
be running scared in this aspect, but even so,
it is still their responsibility. I mean, if you
ask any person with common sense, this conflict
of interest just doesnt fit.
Gross worked for the federal government
as a contracting officer for over 30 years, and
he said that Breiningers usefulness to the
board is questionable.
The functions of this board
include budget development, contract development,
and awarding the contract to the bidder,
said Gross. If you take Kurts vote
away from these issues, he has no reason to be
there. Im concerned about Kurts conflict
of interest when it comes to choosing a contract.
If Kurt is allowed to participate, then whatever
company does not win the bid has a legitimate
complaint about how the process was handled. Without
a vote for the 4th district, they are unrepresented.
Some residents are taking action
One of these residents spearheading the action
is Parkvilles Deborah Hammond, the former
co-chair of Southern Platte Countys ambulance
district initiative who collected signatures for
the issue to be placed on the ballot. Phone calls
and a written complaint have been delivered to
the Missouri Ethics Commissions executive
director, Robert Connor. Members of the board
are not certified until 30 days after the election
takes place, therefore time is limited for the
ethics commission to conduct their investigation
into the matter. Hammond said she feels propelled
to act and feels this is an important issue.
I have a problem with this
and I want to stand up for what is right,
Hammond said. Filing a complaint with the
ethics commission is the only way this problem
can be remedied. Its the principle of the
thing. He can either choose to step down from
the board of directors, or resign from his part
time job with MAST. The 4th District deserves
better representation. These voters would not
have voted for him if they were aware of these
Different items compiled in the
12 page fax submitted by Hammond include her written
complaint, statutes from chapter 105 concerning
prohibited acts by members of governing bodies
of political subdivisions, and a copy of the minutes
from the boards August 14 meeting. In the
written complaint, Hammond stated the following.
Mr. Breiningers continued
involvement with these decisions threatens the
ability of their constituents to receive impartial
representation as required by the Missouri Statutes
concerning ethics, she said.
Hammond also stated After
being sworn into office on August 14 by Platte
County Clerk Sandra Krohne, Mr. Breininger failed
to disclose his or his wifes employment
by MAST when questioned. It is my belief he understood
the nature of the question and this nondisclosure
was an attempt to conceal his conflict of interest
from the public.
Also included in this fax was
a copy of the conflict of interest opinions issued
by The Missouri Ethics Commission. These include
two relevant pieces stating Possible conflict
of interest should be avoided where there might
be the appearance of impropriety, and Board
members should excuse themselves on any matter
coming before the board where they have an interest.
Parkville resident from the 4th
District, Dave Rainey, was an original member
of the board who helped create the ambulance district.
Upon hearing this news,
Im disappointed in the results, said
Rainey. If this news is true, this outcome
was not our original intent. It is in everyones
best interest to review this matter fully.