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Glick allowed to stay on as Pirate case prosecutor

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

It wasn't a typical day in Platte County Circuit Court Division III on Tuesday.

A couple of things took place during a court appearance for the last of the stolen Pirate statue defendants that certainly don't happen in every court session.

1. A prosecutor was called to the witness stand, something legal observers called highly unusual.

2. An attorney in a misdemeanor case announced his client will seek a jury trial, something sources said is not completely unusual but certainly not something that happens with great frequency.

When the smoke had cleared after 20-25 minutes of court discussion, Judge Daniel Czamanske denied a motion by Nicholas Jaros' defense attorney to have Platte County Prosecutor Tammy Glick removed from the case for a conflict.

Jaros' attorney, Matt O'Connor, then indicated his client will seek a jury trial. He also indicated co-defendants in the Pirate case may be called to testify at trial, as may the school superintendent and principal.

O'Connor said some depositions will need to be taken and his side may be ready for trial in mid-September. The case has been put back on Judge Czamanske's schedule for a docket call on Aug. 20, at which time it's possible a trial date will be set.

Jaros, 17, and five other defendants were charged with misdemeanor counts of stealing, first degree trespassing, and first degree property damage. The charges stem from the theft of a carved wooden Pirate statue from the lobby of the Platte County High School in March.

The other five defendants—Chase A. Verdoorn, 19; David R. Poolman, 19; Kevin L. Remmers, 18; Joseph L. Mules, 18; and Steve B. Jones, 17—have already pled guilty and have been given sentences of probation time and community service hours.

Court documents filed by the prosecution allege the students gained entry into the school by using building keys issued to Nick Jaros' father, who is the athletic director at the high school.

Investigative reports done by the Platte City Police Department say that all six defendants eventually confessed to taking part in the crime.
Primary discussion during Tuesday's court hearing centered on whether Glick should be removed from prosecuting the case. O'Connor requested permission to call Glick to the stand to answer several questions. Judge Czamanske initially asked O'Connor to tell him what the questions were going to be, but as O'Connor was reading off the questions Czamanske stopped him and instructed Glick to take the witness stand.

O'Connor's questions concerned Glick's dates of service on the school board, what date she had been appointed county prosecutor, and Glick's earlier representation of the mother of one of the other Pirate co-defendants in a civil matter.
Glick quietly answered questions from O'Connor, but neither the questions nor the answers provided any great details other than dates and a confirmation of Glick's previous representation of the mother of a co-defendant.

O'Connor attempted to paint a picture of a conflict of interest on Glick's part, at one time saying Glick had previous dealings with Jaros' parents—both of whom are teachers in the school system—that were "not pleasant" in nature.
O'Connor's arguments were answered by assistant prosecutor Jim Roe. At one point as the defense pointed out connections Glick had with parties involved in the case, Roe said:

"The position of prosecutor is an elected position. She has to know the community to get elected."

O'Connor also tried to tie in a connection between an unrelated case in which Glick had asked the court to determine if there was "the appearance of a conflict" when it was announced a member of her staff had previously represented Jason Hendrix, the man accused in the death of a Dearborn volunteer firefighter.

O'Connor's argument appeared to be that if there is an appearance of a conflict in that case, then it could be said there is the appearance of a conflict in this one.

"The thing about ethics is they don't change case to case," O'Connor remarked.

Judge Czamanske said he saw a "strong difference" in the two cases.

"I don't see the appearance of impropriety. I see a prosecuting attorney being charged with representing the state of Missouri," the judge said in overruling the motion.

Jaros, who will be a senior when school starts in a few weeks, is a member of the defending state champion Pirate football and wrestling teams, and had been a member of the eventual state champion baseball team last spring until being suspended from the squad after being charged with the crime.

Under guidelines set by the Missouri State High School activities Association, students are ineligible to compete in athletic activities until their problem with the legal system has been cleared and any community service hours completed.