The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 24, 2012

Lanagan’s police officers face charges

LANAGAN, Mo. — Lanagan’s police chief and only other officer have been suspended without pay after being indicted by a county grand jury in connection with what authorities say was the alteration of racial profiling reports and the issuance of citations based on a nonexistent statute.

An attorney for the small McDonald County town told The Associated Press on Thursday that the allegations may all stem from mere mistakes or misunderstandings about how to properly document traffic tickets.

Police Chief Larry Marsh, 52, and Officer Michael Gallahue, 38, were arrested and charged in McDonald County Circuit Court after their indictment last week by a grand jury impaneled earlier this year. Marsh and Gallahue are the lone officers in the town with a population of 419.

Marsh is charged with five counts of forgery, three pertaining to citations and two to racial profiling reports. Gallahue is charged with two counts of forgery, both pertaining to citations.

The forgery charges all are felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The citations were issued between August and October of last year and referenced “ordinance ‘307.000,’” according to charging documents filed by McDonald County Prosecutor Jonathan Pierce. Marsh allegedly filed racial profiling reports with the Missouri attorney general’s office in 2009 and 2010 that “purported to have a genuineness” that they did not possess, the documents state.

Circuit Judge Tim Perigo ordered the grand jury called in February to examine procedures of municipal courts. The seating of the grand jury followed the issuance of an audit of Lanagan’s books by the state auditor’s office in November. It rated the town’s accounting practices and performance of municipal court procedures as “poor.”

The Missouri State Highway Patrol followed up with an investigation leading to the indictments.

Marsh referred questions Thursday to Lanagan’s city attorney, William Weber. Weber said the officers have been suspended without pay pending disposition of their court cases and that the town will be seeking applications for temporary replacements.

Weber said he doubts that Marsh and Gallahue had any intention of fraud.

“It’s very possible this is just a mistake on the officers’ part,” he said.

Pierce, the prosecutor, said Chapter 307 of the state code outlines vehicle equipment regulations. Citations must list the specific portion of the chapter that was violated, such as 307.040, which governs use of headlights. The designation “307.000” does not refer to any specific violation.

“It’s not simply a technical error by writing a mistaken number,” Pierce said.

State Auditor Tom Schweich drew attention to the indictments in a news release Thursday. His office’s audit found that the town’s police were improperly reporting traffic stops on Missouri Highway 59 as taking place on a city street. That allowed the town to avoid paying more than $36,000 to the state under a law that limits the percentage of a town’s revenues that come from traffic tickets issued on state and federal highways, Schweich said.

The Lanagan Police Department reported to the state attorney general’s office that all 1,216 of its traffic stops in 2010 and all 556 stops in 2009 took place on city streets. But the audit found that of 555 tickets issued from January through June 2010, just four were actually issued for violations on city streets. The audit determined that 543 were issued for violations on Highway 59 (Main Street in Lanagan) or state Route EE.

The Lanagan Board of Aldermen met Tuesday and suspended both officers without pay pending disposition of their court cases. McDonald County Sheriff Robert Evenson said the sheriff’s office will be providing law enforcement services in Lanagan until the town resolves the situation.



Missing funds

A STATE AUDIT last year of Lanagan city books discovered $13,600 in missing cash receipts and $2,800 in missing property tax receipts, prompting a comment in the audit summary that “it is likely additional monies are missing.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: It’s not Mayberry, but Carthage is close

    When I was a kid, I wanted to live in Mayberry. In a way, I suppose I still want to live in Mayberry, the fictional town featured in the classic Andy Griffith show of the 1960s.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin couple indicted in child porn case

    A federal grand jury indicted a Joplin couple Wednesday for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a preceding indictment of the husband for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Missouri attorney general defends his support of Amendment 1

    With a large cornfield behind him and campaign signs all around, Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster appeared Wednesday at the David Collard farm to tout Amendment 1, an Aug. 5 ballot measure that would make the “right to farm” part of the state constitution.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Have you ever served as a volunteer for your state's conservation department?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter