It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The reason I know this is because I just heard those words in a song playing on the sound system coming from the area of Landmark office manager Cindy Rinehart, who as most of you know has long been the official unofficial Miss Christmas, at least in Landmark Land.
She waited until Nov. 14 to start piping in the Christmas music this year. I’m calling this a win.
Rod Jetton is the new chief of staff for the Missouri Speaker of the House and now the phrase “green balloons” moves back into public consciousness.
What, you’re young and you don’t get that last reference? Google the words “Rod Jetton green balloons.”
Trouble in river city?
We haven’t touched on it in this column space but the worst kept secret in Platte City since summertime involves multiple reports of tension, a frequently raised voice(s) and even alleged personal drama inside the work force at the City of Platte City.
Also, we’re being told there has been turnover in multiple positions, sometimes with new employees leaving after a very short time on the job.
While on the subject of City of Platte City personnel: Word circulated this week that Brad Wallace has resigned his position as public works director for the City of Platte City.
Earlier this year, Wallace was described as “a risk to the public” in a statement of probable cause filed by a Platte County Sheriff’s Department deputy in a criminal assault case. But according to an account distributed by his superior at the city, Wallace’s conviction on an assault charge did not play a role in his departure.
I reached out via email to Marji Gehr, city administrator, for confirmation that Wallace resigned. Gehr confirmed Wallace has now left employment with the city on his own choosing. She says “Brad requested and the city fully supported his use of accrued leave time” so that he could spend time with a relative who had “received a terminal (medical) diagnosis in mid-October.”
Strangely, in her reply to my email–which, in kind of a Nan Johnston-like move, she copied to another media outlet as well as to an email account listed as email@example.com–Gehr went into a long, sympathy-seeking soliloquy about the situation, even listing the specific medical diagnosis of Wallace’s relative, a move that also seems bizarre for an employer.
It is totally appropriate to show sympathy to Wallace at the death of a loved one. We’ve all been there. When the grieving is over–and even while it is ongoing–city business goes on.
While Gehr apparently would prefer the public be focused on the sympathizing right now, it’s important for the public to know there were problems and personal drama among city staff well ahead of Wallace’s family member getting sick a month ago. The Between the Lines phone lines and email account have been lit up with tips and inside info on city personnel topics since the time of our public works director assault story way back in August.
Has the in-house drama and tension among staff suddenly cured itself with this latest development? Seems unlikely but we’ll keep you posted.
Wallace, the now-former public work director, you’ll recall made front page news a few months ago when he pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault after an incident in a Mexican restaurant in Platte City. A judge placed Wallace on two years of supervised probation, he was ordered to complete drug and/or alcohol treatment and anger control treatment within a year, have no contact with the victim, submit to random urinalysis testing, and pay restitution in the amount of $970.20.
Video footage of the incident that occurred on May 12 was provided by the restaurant, according to court documents. “The video showed the victim, Brad, and four witnesses at the same table eating. Brad gets up from his chair and punches the victim in the face with a closed fist. The victim stumbles backward and Brad follows him, continuously punching him in the face three more times,” Platte County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Knabe wrote in the probable cause statement.
The deputy wrote that he attempted to identify several of the witnesses at the table. “When I spoke with one of the witnesses, she stated she did not want to provide anything other than her address for the report. A second witness provided a statement,” according to the deputy.
In many circles, there has been much discussion and speculation about the identity of that female witness who was at the table but didn’t want to provide anything other than her address. We’re working to confirm the identity of that person for you.
According to court documents, the statement by one female witness who did speak with authorities detailed the following: “During dinner (the victim) made a comment to Brad about the salsa being weak. Brad grabbed a salt shaker (thick glass) from the table and struck (the victim) several times.” According to court documents, Wallace declined to provide a statement to authorities.
“I believe due to the severity of the injuries and nature of the incident he (Wallace) is a risk to the public,” the sheriff’s deputy wrote in the probable cause statement seeking the charge.
This just in: The Sixth Circuit Judicial Commission says its panel of three nominees selected for the Division I circuit judge vacancy in Platte County are: Susan M. Casey, attorney in the US District Court, Western District of Missouri; Myles A. Perry, an assistant prosecuting attorney and trial team leader in the Platte County Prosecutor’s Office; and Quint Shafer, currently the associate circuit judge in Division III in Platte County.
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