JOPLIN, Mo. —
UPDATED: 4:09 P.M. — City Manager Mark Rohr said Friday afternoon that any future effort by Mayor Pro Tem Bill Scearce to become mayor could be thwarted if Rohr tells what he knows about a federal probe of gambling and public corruption.
Rohr made the statement in response to allegations made Friday morning by Scearce, who claimed Rohr inappropriately leaked information to the editor of the Joplin Globe about an FBI investigation in which the councilman was mentioned.
“He has stated to many that he wants to be mayor. He will not be able to do so if I tell all that I know regarding these circumstances. Additionally, having a strong personality sitting in the city manager’s chair would prevent him from imposing his version of the good-old-boy network system of government that has held Joplin back in the past,” Rohr said in a written statement.
Scearce on Friday morning had alleged that “Mr. Rohr is attempting to use this decades-old FBI investigation to discredit me politically following my recent statements and vote to ask for his resignation. This is a continuation of the bullying and intimidation tactics that are a part of Mr. Rohr’s management style.”
Rohr countered Friday afternoon that Scearce is attempting to deflect the brunt of Globe stories that are to be published Sunday involving city officials and a federal probe of local gambling and public corruption.
“Mr. Scearce, in his statement, goes on to claim that I am attempting to use a decades- old FBI investigation to discredit him. First of all, it is not a decades-old FBI investigation, as he would have you believe, but is much more recent. Secondly, I am not mounting any campaign against him. The local paper is working on an article that I was asked to comment on. I do believe this played a role in the recent attempt Mr. Scearce led regarding my employment with the city,” Rohr said.
Scearce read a written statement in a press conference he held at 10 a.m. at City Hall. He then repeatedly declined to answer Globe questions to cite specifics of any evidence he had that the city manager had acted improperly.
A Joplin City Councilman issued a statement Friday alleging that City Manager Mark Rohr leaked information about an FBI investigation in which the councilman was mentioned to the editor of the Joplin Globe.
"Mr. Rohr is attempting to use this decades-old FBI investigation to discredit me politically following my recent statements and vote to ask for his resignation," said Bill Scearce, a two-term councilman who is the current mayor pro tem. "This is a continuation of the bullying and intimidation tactics that are a part of Mr. Rohr's management style."
Scearce read a written statement in a press conference he held at 10 a.m. at City Hall. He said before he read the statement that he would not answer any questions from reporters after he spoke.
Carol Stark, editor of the Joplin Globe, said, "The Joplin Globe has been seeking information and records over the course of the five-year FBI investigation.
"Some of those details are part of a story running in our Sunday paper. We have contacted a large number of city officials and department heads, including Bill Scearce and Mark Rohr.
"Readers will learn more about those conversations as well as record searches in Sunday's paper."