The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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January 31, 2014

Report on council investigation to be disclosed Tuesday

JOPLIN, Mo. — A report on the findings of an investigation of two members of the Joplin City Council will be heard during a special meeting Tuesday.

The city has scheduled a meeting for 5:45 p.m.

The investigation was ordered after questions were raised about statements made by Mayor Pro Tem Bill Scearce that he did not know that a man he rented an office to in the 1990s was a gambling bookmaker.

 After Councilman Mike Woolston called for an investigation, then Councilman Benjamin Rosenberg said Woolston's role in property deals should be examined to determine if any violations occurred as a result of Woolston's knowledge of city redevelopment plans.

An attorney from Osage Beach, Tom Loraine, who is a former assistant U.S. attorney, was hired to conduct the probe. He set up a hotline so that residents could call in with any information they might have. Loraine has not returned calls to The Globe seeking information about how many people he interviewed or how many calls were received.

City Attorney Brian Head had said earlier that the council would first meet in closed session to hear the report and any legal conclusions or legal advice Loraine may wish to give the council. He said the council would then hold an open meeting at which the report would be presented for the public.


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