The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 31, 2012

Former Neosho city manager entitled to health insurance but not salary

NEOSHO, Mo. — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that former Neosho City Manager Jan Blase is entitled to a year of city health insurance for himself and his dependents but not nine months of his salary.

Blase was fired by the City Council in February 2010 after he had acknowledged that the city had used a state loan fund to pay city bills and make payroll. City officials faced a $1 million budget shortfall.

On Dec. 9, 2010, Blase pleaded guilty to misdemeanor official misconduct and was fined.

Blase filed the lawsuit against the city in federal court, alleging he was entitled to nine months of salary and health insurance for himself and his dependents for a year under his contract with the city.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Maughmer ruled that the contract stated Blase was entitled to the post-termination salary only if he was terminated without cause. Because the city terminated Blase because he had committed malfeasance in fund transfers and had failed to communicate with the council, he was given cause and therefore wasn’t entitled to the salary.

Related to the health insurance, the contract required only that the employee be fired, with or without cause.

The city had argued that Blase’s conviction for official misconduct relieved it of any obligation to provide the post-termination benefits.

“The employment agreement bars all post-termination benefits only when the city terminates an employee ‘because of his conviction of any illegal act involving personal gain to him,’” the judge wrote. “In this case, Blase’s termination occurred on Feb. 22, 2010. Blase’s conviction occurred more than nine months later, on Dec. 9, 2010, making it impossible for the conviction to be the cause of the termination.”

Blase didn’t return a message left for him at Church Army USA, an addiction recovery center in Springfield, where he is listed as national interim director.

No immediate comment

Neosho Mayor Richard Davidson said he didn’t have any immediate comment about the ruling. He said he didn’t immediately know how much the health insurance benefit would cost the city.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0420earthday.jpg Prairie State Park kicks off Earth Day events

    Prairie State Park began celebrating Earth Day early with an event Saturday that provided a chance for people of all ages to learn more about how they can protect the environment.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Catholic schools to hold annual spring auction

    The Joplin Area Catholic Schools spring auction will be staged Saturday at the Jack Lawton Webb Convention Center, 5300 S. Range Line Road in Joplin.

    April 19, 2014

  • Wally Kennedy MUG72.jpg Wally Kennedy: Another pizza choice and ice cream on the way

    A new pizza restaurant is coming to the northwest corner of Stone’s Corner in the Village of Airport Drive. Piez is opening this week in a storefront that formerly housed Quincy Magoo’s, 6039 N. Main Street Road, which has been closed for more than two years.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mike pound_cnhi .jpg Mike Pound: No more hiding Easter eggs or emotions

    Well, that’s a wrap on the Easter egg hunts. For about 15 years we have staged not one, but two Easter egg hunts for our now 16-year-old daughter, Emma.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Missouri Republicans are considering a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights: barring them from future careers in state law enforcement agencies. Do you think this proposal has merit?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter