Two Elections, One Lawyer Part One: The Charlie Mac Connection

This week in Camden County and across the state of Missouri, municipal elections are taking place to determine the make-up of school boards, fire protection districts and a flurry of bond/levy issues. In Camden County, these election issues are being decided under the long shadow cast by attorney Charles McElyea.

Charlie Mac, at a meeting of the MCFPD earlier this year.  Charlie Mac tried to explain the closure of outlying stations in the district wasn't part of a shakedown attempt after the levy failure in November.

Charlie Mac, at a meeting of the MCFPD earlier this year. Charlie Mac tried to explain the closure of outlying stations in the district wasn’t part of a shakedown attempt after the levy failure in November.

The incestuous influence of Charles McElyea, partner at the law firm of Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter and Welch, over Camden County government is undeniable.

McElyea is the attorney for Camden County, as well as the Mid-County fire district and lists the Camdenton school district as a client. He is an incumbent on the Mid-County fire board, former member of the Camdenton school board, former member of the Lake Regional Hospital board and registered agent for Kids Harbor in Camdenton.

Recently, McElyea’s decision to suspend Sunshine Law and issue threats and concerns of lawsuits in order to hide his billing records, has placed him in the spotlight in the Lake of the Ozarks community. McElyea’s legal ‘advice’ as Camden County attorney has also been called into question by Second District Camden County Commissioner Cliff Luber.

In a meeting of the Camden County Commission earlier this month, Kris Franken referenced McElyea’s legal ‘opinion’ in attempting to defend his own disregard for law in an attempt to ram through a unilateral re-write of the ULUC’s Article 800. Nor was this the only questionable opinion offered by McElyea regarding Camden County Planning and Zoning.

He also ‘justified’ tens of thousands of dollars of legal fees, wracked up during the tenure of former P&Z administrator Don Hathaway. McElyea did this by giving his ‘legal opinion’ regarding investigating anonymous complaints. McElyea, in spite of the ULUC’s specific requirement that complaints be both signed and notarized before an investigation began, gave the legal opinion that the ULUC ‘didn’t say you COULDN’T investigate anonymous complaints’. This ‘opinion’, contrary to the letter of the ULUC, cost the taxpayers of Camden County thousands, as attorneys flocked to county coffers, taking their bites one invoice at a time.

This type of legal ‘opinion’ was the subject of the following complaint lodged this morning with the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel by Ms. Theresa Townsend. This is the most recent of multiple complaints against the county government:

To Whom It May Concern:

On March 18, 2014, after having set up an appointment the previous week, I went to the Camden County Clerks office to view the billing records of Charles McElyea, the Camden County Attorney for the year 2013. I filled out the appropriate request paperwork and was given the file and a place to sit and review it. During the course of this review, the door to the County Clerks office burst open and Rowland Todd, the County Clerk, took the files from my hands while bellowing out “if you post any of the pictures you took (of those public records I was reviewing) to the internet, Charles McElyea will sue you!!”. I was alarmed by this large, red-faced man threatening me with a lawsuit by the County Attorney with regard to the Public Record of his billing statements.

In my opinion, having been Camden County Attorney for many, many years Mr. McElyea should have been aware of what information his billing records contained and conformed them properly or let the clerk know what was NOT public record under the law.

Mr. McElyea now contends that he did not threaten me, even though there were several witnesses to this threat. He either threatened me, a taxpayer who went through proper legal channels, for viewing public records or he threatened the county which would represent a conflict of interest to his continued employment by said county.

I was contacted by a representative of the State Attorney Generals office regarding this matter. It would seem Mr. McElyea was so concerned at what my reaction might be, he CALLED that office the very next morning to tell them that I was lying!! I had not even registered a complaint over the issue with that office!

In addition, I have found that our Planning & Zoning Commission and our Board of adjustment are seated illegally and have been for SIXTEEN YEARS!! We were a Third Class county in 1994 when the voters voted in Planning & Zoning. In 1998, we became a First Class county. The ULC was not adopted until June of 2004.

According to rsMO 64.120, the Board of Adjustment is to be made up of the County Commissioners. According to rsMO 64.020, the Planning & Zoning Commission is to have one County Commissioner (64.020). This means ANY decisions that have been made by these boards have been illegal and therefor subject to lawsuits should the aggrieved parties wish to pursue this course of action.

In an e-mail dated 2/19/2014 the County Commissioners were made aware of this concern. Mr. Luber stated that Bev Thomas told him that Charles McElyea had said that because we had been a Third Class county when we voted in Planning & Zoning that this was legal & proper. However, according to rsMO 48.050, Any office which may be established as a result of the change of the county from one class to another shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of the law relating to the filling of vacancies for such office.

Mr. McElyea should be reprimanded and heavily fined (with the fine going to a general legal relief fund for the taxpayers) at the very least for his conduct and, I personally feel he should be dis-barred as his actions were deliberate and a man with his years in this field should be well aware that what he was doing was illegal. He has stated he “is to advise the County Commission and office holders on ways not to get sued.”; he should certainly know that threatening taxpayers for viewing public record OR the county he is employed by that this is certainly NOT a way to avoid a lawsuit; nor is allowing an illegally seated board or commission to continue for SIXTEEN years!!

Certainly Mr. McElyea’s behavior is NOT commensurate with what we expect from our County Attorneys who, in my opinion, should be held to a higher standard of ethics and behavior.

The behavior described in this complaint is precisely the behavior that McElyea promises to bring to Camden County government and the Camdenton school district. This behavior is steeped in historical fact and is highlighted by a recent shakedown attempt by the Mid-County fire protection district, under McElyea’s purview.

CHARLIE MAC AND THE MID-COUNTY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT

In January of this year, the Mid-County fire protection district announced plans to close three satellite fire stations. The board, chaired by McElyea, also unveiled budget cuts that included selling equipment, restructuring holiday and overtime pay and the elimination of the fire inspector position. These moves, it was explained by McElyea, were in response to the failure of a tax levy proposed in 2013.

A 12-cent levy proposal was soundly defeated by voters in November of last year, by a margin of nearly two to one.

Many residents looked at the closure of the satellite station as retributive in the wake of the levy’s failure. Closing outlying stations, #3 on State Road AA, #5 on Old South Highway 5, and #6 on State Road D, would force many households to pay higher insurance rates. This is based on the distance between a given home and the nearest fire station. Residents outside of a five-mile radius would be exposed to higher rates. Closing these three satellite stations would therefore increase insurance costs to hundreds of lake area homes.

The steps presented by the fire board in January were seen as an affront to some taxpayers in the fire district. Stacy Shore, resident in one of the areas affected by the proposed station closures, questioned the fire board’s decision to purchase a property on Pier 31 road. This purchase was for a future fire station and cost approximately $50,000. While this purchase was made with a bond for capital expenditures, it still raises several questions among members of the community who believe that other options should be considered before closing fire stations. Also an issue of contention: the $14,000 price tag incurred by the fire board to fund efforts during November’s levy initiative.

Claims of being “fiscally conservative” were offered by McElyea during the January meeting, but for many residents, these claims fall on deaf ears. They point to the administrative costs as being out of line with the operation of the fire station. To these residents, bringing those costs down would allow the protection district to invest more in the wages of front-line firefighters and keep the threatened stations open.

The Mid-County fire protection district and its board, after hearing the public outcry in January, attempted to use this civil unrest as a vehicle to launch yet another campaign to raise the fire levy. Most observers believe that this was foolhardy on the part of McElyea and the district.

One candidate in this week’s Mid-County fire board election offers an alternative to the ‘screw you, pay me’ philosophy espoused by McElyea and the MCFPD.

Jeremy Rugen's slogan: "One name. One vote." is resonating throughout Camden County in response to 'business as usual'.

Jeremy Rugen’s slogan: “One name. One vote.” is resonating throughout Camden County in response to ‘business as usual’.

Jeremy Rugen has a different perspective on how to achieve financial solvency without cutting services and raising the current levy.

I believe the district severely needs overall budget accountability. Some of the trucks and equipment that are currently owned is not needed to provide service or to maintain insurance standards. I feel in our country today our government does not prioritize spending and wastes tax dollars. I don’t feel it is okay for our government or the fire board to do the same. I believe that if you have $2 you cannot spend $3. In my budget at home I cannot spend more money than I have in my account. My goal is to eliminate unneeded vehicles and equipment. I want to prioritize spending and have a complete audit performed. Once this is complete, I can determine more accurate needs of the district.

The district will need a operational increase to create truck replacement program and air pack replacement program. The issue I have with the current levy is these two issues are not being addressed and will not solve the budget problem. I would like to see the district balance the current budget and wait until 2017 when the bonds are paid off. This will take the current amount the tax payers are paying for the bond and place it into the operating account. This will require a vote from the tax payers. This will be no tax increase.

Rugen went on to talk about equipment purchases that were unnecessary and also said:

I am committed to stopping the current wasteful spending. I believe with budget cuts the budget can be balanced until 2017. The district has very little in reserves and this will not be easy task, but I am up for the challenge.

His campaign slogan of “One name, one vote” distinguishes Rugen as a candidate who stands against the mobster tactics used by MCFPD in recent months and is a stark contrast to the reign of McElyea.

Tomorrow from American Spring: Two Elections, One Lawyer Part Two….

In it, we look at the McElyea family business, using government to make a buck, including the McElyea’s control of the Camdenton school district, Charlie Mac’s role with Kids Harbor and ‘Child Trafficking and Missouri Schools’ and much more…

Stay tuned to http://www.americanspring2011.com for the very latest in news from Camdenton to the Congo. Follow on Twitter @AmericanSpring or on the Facebook page Guerrilla Radio with American Spring. Guerrilla Radio is on Monday through Friday from noon until two in the afternoon. Tuesday’s Prime Time edition of Guerrilla Radio is live at 8. All shows are archived on line for easy access.

Franken Lies In Early Smear Campaign Against Greg Hasty

This letter, signed by Kris Franken, clearly states that his "challenger's sole platform is the elimination of Planning and Zoning".

This letter, signed by Kris Franken, clearly states that his “challenger’s sole platform is the elimination of Planning and Zoning”.

This letter, written, signed and circulated by candidate Kris Franken to selected voters in the first district and Horseshoe Bend earlier this month. The letter, and the lie around which the above segment is formed, is a clear indication of the direction of his campaign. It is also another tiring example of an established pattern of pathological behavior displayed by Franken since his election in 2010.

“In contrast to our record of accomplishments together, my challenger’s sole platform is the elimination of Planning and Zoning.”

Greg Hasty appeared last year on an episode of Guerrilla Radio with American Spring, in which he talked extensively about Camden County Planning and Zoning. Not once did he mention the elimination of P & Z. While he certainly acknowledged the many problems with how Planning and Zoning has been administered in Camden County, not once did he state that it should be “eliminated”. Instead, he expressed a desire to revisit the Planning and Zoning, the county’s ULUC and Master Plan, to ensure that these make sense for Camden County residents and taxpayers.

Greg Hasty currently sits on the Planning and Zoning board for the city of Camdenton, where he has served for the better part of ten years. To date, this city department has not been “eliminated”, nor has Hasty ever made such a proposal.

While the last part of that sentence, written and signed by Franken, is a clear and outrageous lie, it is the first part of the sentence that is most telling:

“In spite of our record of accomplishments together…”

Here, Franken, like an amateur-hour poker player, clearly shows his hand.

As has been extensively reported, problems have plagued Camden County Planning and Zoning during Franken’s tenure in the courthouse. Most recently, Don Hathaway resigned under a dark cloud of swirling allegations and an inquiry from the Missouri State Attorney General’s office regarding violations of Sunshine Law.

“In spite of our record of accomplishments together…”

In the wake of Hathaway’s sudden resignation, he discussed an investigation that was conducted into his behavior during an interview that first appeared in the Jefferson City News-Tribune. The investigation of Hathaway resulted in an unpaid two-week suspension for the former Planning and Zoning administrator.

In that same interview, when asked about the results of this investigation, Kris Franken again has a problem with the truth. He states that the investigation results were “inconclusive”.

This is at odds with the facts, as Hathaway’s suspension would indicate that there was cause to withhold his salary for two weeks. It is also at odds with Cliff Luber’s assessment of the investigation, who indicated that he would like the results made public.

“In spite of our record of accomplishments together…”

Hathaway’s resignation is only the most recent of a string of problems the controversial department has faced while under Franken’s purview and Hathaway’s administration. The department has been ran in violation of the ULUC, resulting in huge cost overruns in legal fees for the taxpayers of Camden County. The rule of law has been discarded in the selective, punitive use of the department.

Planning and Zoning has been the servant of special interests in the Lake of the Ozarks area since Franken took office in 2010. Hathaway, an imported representative of special interests himself, arrived shortly after and thus began the transformation of P and Z.

This shift in mission for Planning and Zoning, which Franken takes credit for, has led to repeated charges of selective enforcement, the disregard for the ULUC itself and the use of the department to the benefit of Lake of the Ozarks special interests.

“In spite of our record of accomplishments together…”

Late last year, when Hathaway returned after his unpaid suspension, two rallies took place at the Camden County courthouse. The first was a protest against the reinstatement of Hathaway due to repeated abuses. The second stood in favor of Hathaway and the direction of P&Z.

Usual suspects Joe Roeger, Kim Krostue and the Johnsons were in attendance. Chants of support could be heard around their video cameras and between the bites of donuts, brought to the support group by Dann Hayworth. Hayworth recently announced an early retirement in the wake of Hathaway’s resignation.

The usual suspects, who populate the leadership of the Camden County Republican Club and the newly formed PAC, showed up in full support of the many abuses committed by the P&Z department. These abuses, after all, weren’t targeting them.

“In spite of our record of accomplishments together…”

One has to wonder, given the track record, what these ‘accomplishments’ are supposed to be?

Stay tuned to http://www.americanspring2011.com for the very latest in news from Camdenton to the Congo. Follow on Twitter @AmericanSpring or on the Facebook page Guerrilla Radio with American Spring. Guerrilla Radio is on Monday through Friday from noon until two in the afternoon. Tuesday’s Prime Time edition of Guerrilla Radio is live at 8. All shows are archived on line for easy access.

Franken’s Fitful Future

When Second District Commissioner Cliff Luber presented the formal, legal request for a modification of the Universal Land Use Code, it was much needed good news regarding the county’s embattled Planning and Zoning department. It was a victory for the taxpayers of Camden County and Cliff Luber, who has made Planning and Zoning concerns one of his top priorities since taking office. The formal request, submitted according to 1402 of the ULUC, represented a long battle by Luber to begin to restore equity, fairness and common sense to the Planning and Zoning department with regard to inappropriately zoned properties in Camden County. It is a significant achievement for Luber and what many regard as one step in the right direction with the ULUC.

This formal proposal, brought by Commissioners Luber and Thomas, was something entirely different for candidate Kris Franken. It was the ‘cherry’ on top of a manure sundae.

Franken and Joe Roeger at this week's leeting of the unelected TAC.  At that meeting, it was announced that MODoT would not support the TIGER 5 grant application.  This was another in a string of recent rebuffs of Franken.

Franken and Joe Roeger at this week’s leeting of the unelected TAC. At that meeting, it was announced that MODoT would not support the TIGER 5 grant application. This was another in a string of recent rebuffs of Franken.

Recently, support has fallen apart like wet toilet paper for Franken and the abuses of Planning and Zoning under Hathaway. Franken has long stood in support of former P & Z administrator Don Hathaway, who submitted his resignation at last week’s meeting of the Planning and Zoning commission. Hathaway was the center of numerous controversies during his time as P and Z administrator. The latest of these involving Franken’s violating the ULUC in an attempt to unilaterally rewrite Article 800.

For candidate Kris Franken, Hathaway’s resignation could not have come at a worse time. Hathaway’s departure shines an unwelcome spotlight on the ‘status quo’ under Kris Franken. It speaks volumes to the way business has been conducted in the Camden County Courthouse under his self-appointed reign.

It comes in a week that finds Franken feeling particularly vulnerable. A typical tactic used in Camden County politics, one well-known to residents of the area, is to put up several candidates for one office. Typically, these multiple candidates all have similar platforms and are sponsored by similar interests. This tactic is used to ensure that the ‘status quo’, represented by Kris Franken, is maintained. This election cycle however, Franken stands uncomfortably alone facing opponent Greg Hasty for the Presiding Commissioner’s office. This awkward political vulnerability, along with his own well-established track record, has Franken teetering as his term winds down.

At Thursday’s meeting of the Camden County Commission, Franken’s frailties displayed themselves. During open session, Franken appeared to be quite miffed at the language of the formal request. He was upset that he wasn’t mentioned along with Commissioners Luber and Thomas in the formal request to revise ULUC language.

Franken protested that he was also in favor of fixing this problem with Planning and Zoning. Unfortunately, in what has become a tiresome trend, his assertions come up woefully short of reality. As Cliff Luber pointed out in his press release announcing the formal request, this issue has been brought up numerous times, with ample evidence to support such a change. Franken, despite claims to the contrary, did nothing to fix this obvious problem with Planning and Zoning. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Franken repeatedly opposed Luber’s efforts to bring attention to this issue and fairness to the taxpayers of Camden County. Frequently, on audio recordings of commission meetings, Franken can be heard to dismiss, dispute and disassociate during numerous complaints regarding Planning and Zoning.

His protests to the contrary fall on deaf ears. Franken, with a history of covering up the transgressions of his supporters, has continued to protect Don Hathaway.

In a recent article from the News Tribune, Franken claimed the results of an investigation into Don Hathaway’s conduct late last year were “inconclusive”. This is in stark contrast to the fact that Hathaway was placed on a two-week unpaid suspension.

Second District Commissioner Cliff Luber believes the results were anything but inconclusive, as reflected by the suspension. Luber would welcome the results of that investigation becoming public, he said during a recent appearance on Guerrilla Radio with American Spring.

It comes as no great surprise that Franken wanted to tag along on Luber’s achievement in rectifying a long standing problem in Planning and Zoning. Unfortunately, Franken, with his recent end-around attempt to rewrite the ULUC, has displayed an utter lack of knowledge of and respect for its articles regarding revisions. After his last minute effort to rewrite Article 800 crashed like the Hindenberg, Franken then sought, and the people paid for, two legal ‘interpretations’ to justify his actions. He also sought to rewrite history, by convincing Don Hathaway to state that he had asked Franken for the rewrite, despite Hathaway’s stating previously that Franken had not acted properly with regards to his attempt to rewrite of Article 800.

Hathaway has now resigned.

The Missouri State Attorney General’s office is conducting an inquiry into possible Sunshine violations in regards to Camden County Planning and Zoning.

During Thursday’s meeting of the Camden County Commission, Franken made sure to say a ridiculous, smarmy ‘thank you’ to Don Hathaway, for his supposed input on Luber and Thomas’ proposal.

In that, Franken the candidate stands alone, like the cheese in that old children’s rhyme.

What an unfortunate place to be.

Stay tuned to http://www.americanspring2011.com for the very latest in news from Camdenton to the Congo. Follow on Twitter @AmericanSpring or on the Facebook page Guerrilla Radio with American Spring. Guerrilla Radio is on Monday through Friday from noon until two in the afternoon. Tuesday’s Prime Time edition of Guerrilla Radio is live at 8. All shows are archived on line for easy access.

TIGER 5 D.O.A. : Mr. Roeger’s Neighborhood Expansion Halted

The death blow appears to have been struck against the expansion of Highway 242 from the west side of the Community Bridge to Highway 5 in Sunrise Beach. This comes after an expected proposal for funding from the County Commission evaporated into thin air. The Camden County Commission, expected to hear a proposal that would ask the County for approximately $6,500. This amount represented half of the cost to have an ‘insider’ write the TIGER 5 grant. The proposal was never given. The funds, wisely, weren’t asked for. As a result, the commission simply wrote a letter of support for the project, instead of committing tax dollars to this private partnership.

On Tuesday’s meeting of the unelected LOCLG’s TAC, Joe Roeger and Kris Franken listened as Bob Lynch from the Missouri Department of Transportation gave the proposal’s eulogy. Lynch said the TIGER 5 grant for the proposed expansion of Highway 242 did not have the support of MoDot engineers.

This would seem to send Joe Roeger back to the drawing board…

For more on this story, tune into tonight’s episode of Guerrilla Radio with American Spring, the prime time edition.

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Hathaway’s “Ass Chewing”

On Sunday, March 23, 2014, the Jefferson City News Tribune weighed in on the resignation of Planning and Zoning administrator Don Hathaway. The article, written by Ceil Abbott, mentions, for the first time in any detail, an investigation that was conducted into Hathaway’s behavior in office. The result of this investigation was Hathaway’s being placed on an unpaid, two-week suspension.

The News Tribune, the parent of The Lake Today, reprinted excerpts of Hathaway’s resignation letter. They also conducted a follow-up interview with Hathaway after his resignation was tendered during last Wednesday evening’s meeting of the Planning and Zoning commission.

While the article reiterates the ‘reasons’ Hathaway cited for his resignation, it is woefully short on context. The by actions taken by Hathaway while serving as Planing and Zoning administrator and his checkered history in the Camden County Planning and Zoning department are ignored in this article, presenting a one-sided, disingenuous account of Hathaway’s tenure.

In a ‘follow-up’ interview, Hathaway was allowed to create a revisionist history regarding the events that led to his resignation.

No counterpoints were offered to Hathaway’s claims in this article. No questions were asked regarding the controversial history of the department under Hathaway. Nor was there any mention of the inquiry into Camden County Planning and Zoning that has reached the office of the Missouri Attorney General.

The News Tribune presented an article which appears to paint Hathaway as a ‘victim’ rather than the ignorant, abusive administrator he proved himself to be through repeated actions.

In addition to claims Hathaway made in his letter of resignation, read aloud at the end of last week’s meeting of the Planning and Zoning Board, Hathaway went on to make additional comments to Ceil Abbott:

In a separate interview, Hathaway said he decided to resign because Luber had begun to “bring my family into the issue by saying I have a conflict of interest because some of my in-laws are involved in politics in Morgan County.”

Hathaway’s father-in-law, former state Rep. Rodney Schad, was elected to the Morgan County Commission two years ago.

“I am not going to work in an environment in which I get an ass chewing every week,” Hathaway said.

Here, deflecting attention from his misconduct as administrator, Hathaway opens an interesting door. His relationship with Rodney Schad, and Schad’s relationship to Lake area players like Ameren, deserve skepticism and further review.

Unbelievably, Hathaway, whose ritualistic disregard for the ULC he was tasked to uphold, made the following audacious statement.

This statement bears repeating:

“I am not going to work in an environment in which I get an ass chewing every week,” Hathaway said.

As a direct result of Hathaway’s actions, Camden County has been exposed to liability. His ignorance and disregard for the ULC, along with an established history of abusive demeanor and language, would seem to indicate that Don Hathaway didn’t get as many ‘ass chewings’ as he deserved, despite whines to the contrary.

More than that, his simple statement is reflective of the way he administered his office as P and Z administrator. It is a direct statement to the people and tax payers of Camden County:

Hathaway knows best. No one should question Hathaway.

Cliff Luber responded to Hathaway’s statement with the following:

“I am sorry that he was offended, but I was just trying to get him to do his job properly,” Luber said. “I have an obligation to see that the citizens of Camden County are treated fairly and equitably and to see that the rules of planning and zoning are applied correctly and equitably.”

Apparently, asking him to follow the rule of law and the ULC he was paid to adhere to is equal to an ‘ass chewing’ in Hathaway’s world. This emotional infancy and grade-school logic, reminds of a child’s tantrum. It also would seek to turn the blame for Hathaway’s mismanagement of Planning and Zoning toward anyone who questioned him.

As reported yesterday in ‘Hathaway, McElyea and the ‘Chicken Little’ Argument’ from yesterday’s Morning Toast, Camden County Planning and Zoning, under the administration of Don Hathaway, was a source of never-ending controversy.

Recently it was announced that, as a direct result of Hathaway’s ignorance, the department was investigating anonymous complaints. This practice is strictly forbidden by the ULC Hathaway was paid to enforce and resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees the county had not budgeted for. This single example of gross negligence on Hathaway’s part created these unnecessary budget overruns.

“I am not going to work in an environment in which I get an ass chewing every week,” Hathaway said.

Indeed.

Stay tuned to http://www.americanspring2011.com for more on this and other stories as they develop. Catch the ‘Morning Toast’ each morning…..Bitter, but worth every bite.

Hathaway, McElyea & The ‘Chicken Little’ Argument

THE CHICKEN LITTLE ARGUMENT

When Charlie McElyea tried to justify his actions in suspending the Sunshine Law, he gave Leslie Chamberlin a particular example of how his invoices could be potentially damaging. In that example, he offered the case of “John Smith”, who might be damaged as a result of McElyea’s billing statements becoming public. It was a curious example, particularly in light of recent events inside the Camden County Courthouse.

Consider the case of recently resigned Camden County Planning and Zoning administrator, Don Hathaway. On Wednesday, March 19, one day after McElyea’s suspension of law, Hathaway, who left a clear pattern of abuse of his position and an ignorance of the very ULC he was being paid to administer, offered his resignation to the County.

Hathaway’s reign over Camden County P and Z was highlighted by a two-week suspension he served from October 25 through November 15, 2013. Local media reported on this suspension. No official reasons were given for Hathaway’s being placed on unpaid leave.

Hathaway spat a string of allegations at Second District Commissioner Cliff Luber before he scuttled out the door. In that tirade, Hathaway seemed to set the stage for litigation.

From Janet Dabbs, Lakeexpo.com:

Camden County Planning and Zoning Administrator Don Hathaway announced his resignation last night, citing public “slanderous” comments by 2nd District Commissioner Cliff Luber and others as the reason.

Hathaway read his letter of resignation to the P&Z Commission at the Wednesday, March 19 commission meeting. Luber as well as Camden County Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken were in attendance.

Hathaway pointed to constant “back handed insults, interrogation and reprimand” and the “defamation of [his] character” in the media by Luber. He stated Luber’s comments in the media were typically infused with “self interpretations of the facts that shows a lack of total respect for due process and the authority of others.” “His lack of knowledge in the subject is apparent as he seeks to interpret rules and codes to the selection of his agenda,” Hathaway said.

In the letter, Hathaway also said:

“I have weathered the storm of criticism and budget restrictions. But it is impossible to manage a department without proper staff in which to fulfill the needs of the community. My goal here was to work with all residents of the county to build a better system of land use control. Implementation of Code revisions and adoption of modern technical specifications that meet the needs of this community were quickly identified as necessary priorities, along with achieving compliance with the regulatory laws of this state and the federal government for which we are governed.

“The task here is difficult enough to insure consistent code interpretation that is not arbitrary and capricious, without a hostile work environment being created by Luber, on a regular basis.

“It is because of Mr. Luber, and the continued harassment of me and my staff, that I submit my notice of resignation. I am unwilling to work in a position that cannot realize the necessary goals we set out to achieve. I will not work with a man who has engaged in misuse of his powers to thwart the efforts of this administration, and myself, in our duties and obligations to the people of Camden County.

“My frustration over the last year has diminished the quality of life I sought to maintain here for my family in your employment.”

Hathaway has been employed with the county for two years, six months and according to county policy he will work 30 days after submitting his letter of resignation.

After reading the letter, Hathaway said, “My thanks to the planning commission for their service – it has been a pleasure serving with you all.”

Hathaway, in reading his resignation letter, attempted to deflect the blame for his abominable performance as P&Z administrator toward Commissioner Cliff Luber. The language chosen by Hathaway, the use of terms such as “defamation of character”, “slanderous” and “Due Process” are not chosen by accident.

In his unmitigated arrogance, Hathaway would seek to set the stage for a lawsuit against Camden County for his needing to resign due to stress inflicted on him because a Camden County Commissioner was asking him to do the job he was hired to do! This notion, for the tax payers of the county, is both laughable and offensive.

It is also the ‘Chicken Little’ logic McElyea seeks to use to hide his billing. The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Hathaway could potentially sue the county! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

It is fear mongering the citizens of Camden County and parents and taxpayers in the Camdenton school district are all to familiar with. Jackie Schulte parroted the same ‘Chicken Little’ logic during a recent Q and A with the Lake Sun. It is steeped in flawed legal arguments made by attorney’s who would seek to assume authority in our institutions. It is the same ‘logic’ peddled by snake oil salesmen from the law firm of Mickes, Goldman and O’Toole and lawyers for the unelected, private organization, the MSBA (Missouri School Board Association) in our lake area schools. The ‘Chicken Little’ argument is being used to assume authority not granted under law.

HATHAWAY’S REVISIONIST FAIRYTALE

If former Planning and Zoning administrator Hathaway, with his rich history of abusing his office and county employees and his obvious ignorance of the ULC itself, wants to file a lawsuit to and blame Camden County for his resignation, let him.

In his resignation letter, Hathaway desperately attempted to point the finger of blame at Second District Camden County Commissioner Cliff Luber. Hathaway pointed to “back handed insults, interrogation and reprimand” from Luber.

With regards to claims of “interrogation and reprimand”, it would seem that Hathaway didn’t care for anyone asking him to follow the ULC and the rule of law. Nor did he want anyone questioning his actions. He didn’t want the elected representatives of Camden County to interfere in his ‘administration’ of Planning and Zoning.

What Hathaway neglected to mention, is that several citizens, business owners and prospective developers have registered complaints about his lawless behavior. Local business owners Theresa Townsend, Gary Prewitt and Herb and Barb Morris have all taken complaints and documentation before the County Commission regarding the administration of Planning and Zoning.

More recently, the Monday before Hathaway gave his resignation, a developer who has been stuck in Hathaway’s P and Z purgatory met with Kris Franken. This developer had serious complaints regarding Hathaway’s treatment of him through Planning and Zoning. It is unclear if this is the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.

Hathaway’s selective, punitive, abusive ‘administration’ of Planning and Zoning was not confined to his department. In the case of Theresa Townsend, it was extended to, and took root in the Camden County Sheriff’s Department.

Hathaway also went on to claim, as reported by Lakeexpo.com:

…”defamation of [his] character” in the media by Luber. He stated Luber’s comments in the media were typically infused with “self interpretations of the facts that shows a lack of total respect for due process and the authority of others.” “His lack of knowledge in the subject is apparent as he seeks to interpret rules and codes to the selection of his agenda,” Hathaway said.

Apparently, criticizing gross negligence by a government entity or agent can be translated as “defamation”. Cliff Luber, as the elected representative of the Second District of Camden County, referred to the case of Sugarloaf Winery, as one of many reasons for concern regarding how P&Z was being administered under Hathaway.

Hathaway claimed Luber’s criticism and “self interpretations of the facts that shows a lack of total respect for due process and the authority of others.”

These claims are at odds with the record. In fact, it was Commissioner Luber who, as a result of a recent unilateral attempt to rewrite Article 800 by Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken, presented articles related to the procedure of any modification of the ULC. This presentation of articles related to proposed revisions to the ULC, and subsequent editorials, clearly show a desire for both “due process” and respect for the “authority of others”, despite Hathaway’s assertions to the contrary.

From Cliff Luber’s Editorial March 18,2014:

Prior to the February 19th P&Z meeting, the Planning & Zoning Administrator complained to Commissioner Thomas regarding the manner in which Art. 800 was being introduced by Mr. Franken, in particular coming from one commissioner rather than the Planning Commission. The Planning & Zoning Administrator then stated a sudden reversal in the P&Z meeting and claimed to have asked Commissioner Franken to write it, months ago. (See audio from February 19th P&Z Meeting) Since the P&Z Administrator now “claims” he requested Commissioner Franken rewrite Art. 800, and the anticipation of receiving such a re-write, when does P&Z anticipate the forming of a review committee?

Art. 1402 of the ULUC states: Whenever a request to amend the Unified Land Use Code or the Zoning Map is initiated by the County Commission, The Planning Commission, or the Board Of Adjustment, the Planning Administrator, in consultation with legal counsel, shall draft the appropriate language and present it to the Planning Commission so that a date for a public hearing may be established.” It appears evident Mr. Franken does not have the authority to request/submit a change to the ULUC without a request/vote by the County Commission. There was no such meeting or vote.

Section 1402, subsection (2) does allow for a citizen to request a change to the ULUC, providing they fill out the proper Planning & Zoning paperwork, and pay a ridiculous fee of $1,000.00. Given Mr. Franken is an elected official, I do not believe he qualifies as a citizen in respect to requesting a change through that venue.

In Art. 1402, It appears the P&Z Administrator does not possess the authority to request of a Commissioner, or anyone to rewrite any portion of the ULUC. It states the Planning & Zoning Administrator, in consultation with legal counsel, shall draft the appropriate language and present it to the Planning Commission.

The ULUC requirement for a County Commission, Planning Commission, or Board Of Adjustment, to make such a request to the Planning Administrator, is intended to not allow a government of one to submit a unilateral request that could be either beneficial or negatively prejudicial on a citizen(s) or business in this community. These three entities are each a board and there is a reason it specifies such. It’s called checks and balances.

Clearly, Luber is not dismissing the “authority of others” or “due process”. He is instead attempting to preserve the checks and balances that are established in the ULC.

Hathaway went on to say the following about Commissioner Luber:

“His lack of knowledge in the subject is apparent as he seeks to interpret rules and codes to the selection of his agenda.”

This is an ironic statement, coming from the former Planning and Zoning administrator. In one example of Hathaway’s ignorance of the ULC, the P&Z department, under Hathaway, cost the county tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees pursuing anonymous complaints. This is an action specifically prohibited by the Camden County ULC that Hathaway was paid to adhere to.

To claim that Luber has an “agenda” in insisting that Planning and Zoning be administered equitably and according to the rule of law, is ridiculous. It is a desperate attempt to deflect attention from the campaign in which Hathaway has only played a bit part, the role of willing thug for special interests.

During Hathaway’s dramatic resignation, he went on to say:

The task here is difficult enough to insure consistent code interpretation that is not arbitrary and capricious, without a hostile work environment being created by Luber, on a regular basis.

Here, Hathaway attempts to paint a picture of a brutish Commissioner, creating an untenable environment in the workplace. He points the finger of blame for an a “hostile work environment” at Cliff Luber. It is, according to Hathaway, Luber’s fault that the P & Z department he leaves behind is toxic.

What Hathaway didn’t mention, but what the historical record shows, is that more than one former employee of the Camden County Courthouse can dispel this claim. According to their accounts, a “hostile work environment” in Camden County Planning and Zoning existed under administrator Don Hathaway prior to Cliff Luber ever being elected to office.

Hathaway went on with his fairytale:

It is because of Mr. Luber, and the continued harassment of me and my staff, that I submit my notice of resignation. I am unwilling to work in a position that cannot realize the necessary goals we set out to achieve. I will not work with a man who has engaged in misuse of his powers to thwart the efforts of this administration, and myself, in our duties and obligations to the people of Camden County.

A rough translation of this double-speak from Hathaway:

Because Cliff Luber refuses to allow me to continue my ritualistic abuse of office, I quit. I cannot work in a place where I am not allowed to disregard which parts of the ULC I see fit, as I see fit. I cannot work in an environment where I am supposed to be held accountable! These demands for honesty, integrity and fairness have made it impossible for me to fulfill the wishes of Lord Sausage, Joe Roeger and Kim Krostue and his PAC of hyenas, Citizens for a Better Government. I will not work with a man who demands openness, transparency and accountability in my department! It is outrageous!

Particular emphasis should be placed on this statement, made by Hathaway:

I am unwilling to work in a position that cannot realize the necessary goals we set out to achieve.

As previously mentioned, Hathaway was placed on unpaid suspension last October. When he returned to administer his brand of Planning and Zoning ‘administration’, he had a section of cheerleaders. A rally was held in support of Hathaway and the abusive practices he had engaged in while serving as administrator of Camden County Planning and Zoning.

THE PAC

All of the Usual Suspects were in attendance that November morning. Kim Krostue was there. So was Lake Area Chamber ambassador and Bridge Corporation representative Joe Roeger. As were other members of the newly christened PAC of hyenas. This PAC functions in part as a vehicle with which to funnel money to candidates willing to sell their services to the highest bidder.

Kim Krostue, a part-time Lake of the Ozarks resident and prominent member and office holder in the Camden County Republican Club announced the formation of his Political Action Committee. This hyena PAC quickly set about trying to silence anyone who would question the status quo.

The PAC sent a letter to the ownership of Viper Communications, parent company of 97.5 KRMS. KRMS, a talk radio show that has long featured segments with Camden County Commissioners Luber and Franken, heeded the threats written between the lines by Krostue. They wanted Luber’s questions to stop. They made a clear effort to conceal questions and problems in Planning and Zoning that currently finds the department the subject of an inquiry by the State Attorney General’s office and the Missouri Ethics Commission.

This was not the group’s only example of media manipulation. Last Tuesday, a forum for candidates running for Camdenton school board was sponsored by the Camden County Republican Club. Suzie Johnson, the Porto Cima Princess, told Lake TV’s Shawn Kober that there was no such event scheduled. She hadn’t heard anything about it. As a result, Lake TV did not cover the event, where in status quo candidates and Lake Area Chambers of Fascism darlings Selynn Barbour and Jackie Schulte focused on fundraisers and social events, maintaining the illusion that everything is hunky-dory in the district.

As discussed in ‘Camdenton, Missouri School Districts About Local Control’, the hyena PAC of the usual suspects represents the both the march and machinery of local fascism. By endorsing government officials and departments that are being used punitively and aggressively against the citizens of Camden County and by seeking to silence those who would question this abuse, Krostue, Roeger and their PAC have identified themselves clearly.

They stand in clear support of government that would overreach. They stand in clear support of those who would abuse their offices in order to ensure the ‘status quo’ is maintained, regardless of the cost.

They stand in support of the jaw-dropping atrocities committed against the Lagares family, as many of the government entities and officials supported by the PAC, have been named as Defendants in a Federal lawsuit, filed under ‘color of law’.

Amy Wilson of the Lake Sun took special note of the PAC and their cronies, huddled together during Hathaway’s resignation:

Near Hathaway sat Franken and some members of the political action committee, Coalition for Better Government.

The PAC of hyenas were firmly in support of the tactics displayed by Hathaway during his controversial time in office, to the bitter end. This comes as no surprise. The arbitrary application of rules and laws is what has paved the way for projects such as the proposed 242 expansion, while leaving glaring problems in other communities and areas to wither, such as the west end of Osage Beach and the Key Largo intersection.

Hathaway was the perfect administrator for this type of arbitrary application of Planning and Zoning. He had no reservations about using his office and department to advance the agenda of special interests at the Lake of the Ozarks. The record he has left in his wake clearly demonstrates a dereliction of the duties he was paid to perform. As mentioned previously, this history is highlighted by the unpaid suspension Hathaway served last October/November.

HARMFUL EXPOSURE?

As reported above and in ‘County Attorney Threatens Lawsuit Against County…?’, Charlie Mac floated as one in a flurry of excuses for his breaking the law, the idea that if a bill contained an employee’s name, they could sue the County. If his office were ignorant enough to put an employee’s name on a billing statement, subject to Sunshine Law, then Charlie Mac would find himself in hot water. It would be his lack of legal foresight and disregard for confidentiality that would lead to the county being inadvertently exposed in this way. That type of legal malpractice could end in serious repercussions, beyond the relatively minor crime of unilaterally suspending Sunshine Law.

The taxpayers of Camden County would certainly hope that a partner in the law firm of Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter and Welch would know better than leaving this type of information available to the public.

Taking McElyea’s “John Smith” example and applying it to, Don Hathaway for example, might make for some interesting reading.

Unfortunately for the Citizens of Camden County who would like to read a saucy tale of government corruption and scandal, they would be disappointed to find that Charlie Mac apparently has a lick of legal sense.

The billing statement below, one of dozens reviewed by Theresa Townsend and Leslie Chamberlin, reflects some interesting dates and information. For example, it shows several calls regarding ‘PERSONNEL’ between McElyea and Commission, both individually and as a whole between November 18th-19th. Unfortunately for the rumor mill, the statement does not identify who these calls were about, nor does it detail what the calls regarded.

This billing statement from Charles McElyea in his duties as Camden County attorney, from 2013, is one of dozens reviewed by Theresa Townsend and Leslie Chamberlin.  It appears to be proof that Charlie Mac's claim, that he is incompetent and has exposed the county to liability through his billing statements, is unfounded.

This billing statement from Charles McElyea in his duties as Camden County attorney, from 2013, is one of dozens reviewed by Theresa Townsend and Leslie Chamberlin. It appears to be proof that Charlie Mac’s claim, that he is incompetent and has exposed the county to liability through his billing statements, is unfounded.

While there is an entry of ‘CONFERENCE CALL DON HATHAWAY RE:COMPLAINT’ also listed on the 19th of November, there is no further information given. It does not discuss what type of complaint this conference call was regarding. It does not indicate who, other than McElyea and Hathaway, might have been on this call. There is no reason to assume this is anything but part of the normal course of business for Planning and Zoning. Complaints relating to Planning and Zoning have been endemic during Hathaway’s tenure, a fact he acknowledged in his resignation:

“I was informed at the onset of my employment that my position was historically one of debate and controversy.”

An entry on November 20th bears a similar notation from McElyea, again mentioning Don Hathaway.

As all of these calls took place after Hathaway’s reinstatement from his unpaid suspension, it is difficult to say with any degree of certainty that any of the calls listed on this invoice had to do with poor behavior on Hathaway’s part.

McElyea regularly billed the county for calls with Hathaway with respect to Planning and Zoning. In fact, the P and Z department had an immense budget overrun in legal fees in 2013. Thousands of dollars were hemorrhaged during Hathaway’s tenure.

None of these many conference calls uncovered the fact Planning and Zoning were racking up extra fees pursuing anonymous complaints, unfortunately.

This example of the ‘concerns’ McElyea expressed with his “John Smith” fears and ‘Chicken Little’ logic appear to be unfounded. Charlie Mac is competent enough to not expose the county with damaging details of employee misconduct in his billing statements, as one would hope. McElyea has served as the attorney for Camden County for many years…

Stay tuned to http://www.americanspring2011.com for the very latest on this and other stories. Follow us on Twitter @AmericanSpring and on Facebook on the Guerrilla Radio with American Spring page.

P&Z Problems, Questions Mount in Camden County

The following editorial was written by Second District Camden County Commissioner, Cliff Luber.

It’s one thing to require that citizens comply with the Unified Land Use Code (ULUC) regarding Planning & Zoning, but why does P&Z not follow their own rules?

The ULUC Art. 302, subsection (3) states: ” At its regularly scheduled meeting in January of each year, the Planning Commission SHALL by a majority vote of its membership (excluding vacant seats) elect one of its members to serve as Chairman to preside over all meetings and one member as Vice-Chair who will preside in the event the Chairman is un able to.” There should have been a vote to elect a Chairman and Vice-Chair at its meeting last January. In reviewing the minutes, there was no mention of an election. It raises potential legal questions on the current legitimacy of the P&Z Board.

Prior to the February 19th P&Z meeting, the Planning & Zoning Administrator complained to Commissioner Thomas regarding the manner in which Art. 800 was being introduced by Mr. Franken, in particular coming from one commissioner rather than the Planning Commission. The Planning & Zoning Administrator then stated a sudden reversal in the P&Z meeting and claimed to have asked Commissioner Franken to write it, months ago. (See audio from February 19th P&Z Meeting) Since the P&Z Administrator now “claims” he requested Commissioner Franken rewrite Art. 800, and the anticipation of receiving such a re-write, when does P&Z anticipate the forming of a review committee?
Art. 1402 of the ULUC states: Whenever a request to amend the Unified Land Use Code or the Zoning Map is initiated by the County Commission, The Planning Commission, or the Board Of Adjustment, the Planning Administrator, in consultation with legal counsel, shall draft the appropriate language and present it to the Planning Commission so that a date for a public hearing may be established.” It appears evident Mr. Franken does not have the authority to request/submit a change to the ULUC without a request/vote by the County Commission. There was no such meeting or vote.

Section 1402, subsection (2) does allow for a citizen to request a change to the ULUC, providing they fill out the proper Planning & Zoning paperwork, and pay a ridiculous fee of $1,000.00. Given Mr. Franken is an elected official, I do not believe he qualifies as a citizen in respect to requesting a change through that venue.

In Art. 1402, It appears the P&Z Administrator does not possess the authority to request of a Commissioner, or anyone to rewrite any portion of the ULUC. It states the Planning & Zoning Administrator, in consultation with legal counsel, shall draft the appropriate language and present it to the Planning Commission.

The ULUC requirement for a County Commission, Planning Commission, or Board Of Adjustment, to make such a request to the Planning Administrator, is intended to not allow a government of one to submit a unilateral request that could be either beneficial or negatively prejudicial on a citizen(s) or business in this community. These three entities are each a board and there is a reason it specifies such. It’s called checks and balances.

There are many issues regarding Art. 800, and certainly to not discuss them as a Commission of three and only be given five business days to give additions/deletions through an email vs. commissioner meetings, is not acceptable. Any rewrite of this importance requires an extensive dialogue.

The Commission has also recently received more incidents where land was mis-zoned by Camden County and property owners were requesting their land be properly zoned. I brought this to Mr. Franken’s attention as early as March, over a year ago, with several examples. He refused to take any action to assist the citizens of Camden County. (Listen to May,10th audio of the County Commission meeting)

These landowners were forced to pay an $ 800.00 rezoning fee to come into compliance due to Camden County incorrectly designating the proper land use. This is simply unfair to citizens and inhibits business growth. As more mis-zoned properties are coming to light, Mr. Franken and P&Z are having to admit the widespread problem. Planning & Zoning last month finally suggested a future policy change, but to date they have not taken any action.

Last week Commissioner Thomas and myself have taken the initiative to put together a draft to change the ULUC, to include no fees where the county is in error. We will be discussing and voting on it at the Tuesday Commissioner’s meeting. Upon approval and under Art. 1402 of the ULUC, The Commission will then make a request to the P&Z Commission for approval.

Rules should apply the same to everyone, not just some. Another recent discovery of Mr. Franken waiving fees was on February 11, 2013, for a Board of Adjustment hearing, which would cost any other citizen $500.00.He clearly waived the fees. There wasn’t any meeting, or vote, just a government of one deciding.

It is important to be honest and transparent to the citizens. These rules are in place for a reason. The citizens of this county elected me a year and a half ago with the motto “Vote Yourself A Voice” and as the 2nd District Commissioner I will continue to be their advocate in Camden County Govt.