forensic review of transactions that occurred within the Platte City Parks and Recreation Department when Dannie Stamper was parks director is continuing.
City officials said last week the investigation is ongoing. The Landmark has been able to confirm that one of the transactions being looked at involved a truck that was traded in by the parks department.
Platte City Board of Aldermen fired Stamper at a closed session held in late August. At that time, the city announced a forensic accountant who is also an attorney would investigate park transactions.
The review started a few weeks after the firing. The review is to include interviews with “all present and past staff or any official that may have knowledge” of the transactions.
Stamper had appealed his dismissal to the board of aldermen, but failed to show up at his appeal hearing in late September, which meant the firing was upheld.
Stamper had been parks director for the city since 2002.
A city staff report, a public document, later indicated Stamper was dismissed “due to violation of state statutes, city ordinance and city employment regulations related to public employees’ ethical requirements.”
Stamper has not returned calls from The Landmark seeking comment.
The firing was not the only personnel change recently within the city parks department. Jimmy Thatcher, parks maintenance worker, notified the city on Aug. 24 that he was submitting a two week notice to leave city employment. His last day was Sept. 7. Thatcher had worked for the city since 2008.
The exits of Stamper and Thatcher have prompted the city to temporarily assign day-to-day park maintenance to the public works department. The public works director has assigned one maintenance worker (Brian Kear) to focus on parks maintenance.
Additional public works maintenance employees are available to be assigned to parks maintenance tasks as necessary, Gehrt said.
The city administrator said Thatcher, the outgoing parks maintenance worker, “was very helpful in transferring information and transitioning to the incoming staff.”
Travis Anderson, a recent hire, is the city’s recreation coordinator. It was recently announced Anderson has been temporarily moved to City Hall “to have more direct access to administrative support” from Gehrt, city officials said.
Recreation program duties have not changed. Anderson is currently working on fall sports and upcoming special events such as the holiday lighting ceremony.
Gehrt said any recruitment action for a new parks director will not begin until the forensic analysis of the department’s financial transactions has been completed and reviewed. Gehrt said it is not yet known how long the investigator’s analysis will take.