The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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February 16, 2014

Joplin board member cited in DWI case in Newton County

JOPLIN, Mo. — Philip M. Willcoxon, a Joplin Board of Education member and chief executive officer of the Ozark Center, was charged with driving while intoxicated Friday night in Newton County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Efforts to reach Willcoxon by phone for comment were unsuccessful Sunday afternoon, as was the case with Jeff Flowers, president of the Board of Education.

C.J. Huff, superintendent of schools, said the board had not had time to consider the matter but that Flowers would be the one who would give any statement if and when the board so decided.

Huff did say that Willcoxon has been “a tremendous asset to the school district during his time on the board.”

Willcoxon’s term on the board expires in April. He announced last year that he did not plan to seek re-election on April 8. He was elected to the board in 2008 and re-elected in 2011.

Willcoxon was named CEO of the Ozark Center in 2010. He previously was CEO of Freeman Neosho Hospital and senior vice president of administration for Freeman Health System, according to the Freeman website.

The arrest report on the patrol’s website noted the time of the traffic stop as 9:50 p.m. Friday and the charges as DWI and speeding, but it did not cite a location more specific than Newton County. A full report on the arrest was not available Sunday.

The report did note that Willcoxon was taken to the Newton County Jail and released from there. Information about any bond posted or court date was not available Sunday afternoon.

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