The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

September 10, 2012

Attorney files affidavits seeking criminal charges against mayor

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — Attorney Kevin Cure has filed affidavits in Baxter Springs city court seeking misdemeanor criminal defamation charges against Mayor Jenifer Bingham.

Cure filed the affidavits on behalf of his clients, six Baxter Springs City Council members opposed to Bingham’s recent actions.

Bingham didn’t return a phone call seeking comment on Monday.

Cure cites in the affidavits that Bingham at the April 24, 2012, City Council meeting claimed she had a photo of council members conducting an illegal meeting. The affidavit notes that Bingham’s statement was reported by several news outlets, including The Joplin Globe.

“She, in fact, did not possess such photograph on April 24, 2012, or on any other date, as no such meeting or gathering of any kind occurred by the six council members she stated had the meeting,” reads the affidavits.

HISTORY

Turmoil surfaced in Baxter Springs city government on April 10, when Bingham appointed her own choices to replace City Clerk Donna Wixon and police Chief David Edmondson. The council rejected the mayor’s appointments by a 6-2 vote.

Bingham followed up the next day by placing Wixon on paid suspension and changing the locks at City Hall. The council has since restored Wixon to her job.

Bingham has said Wixon was receiving free cable television service, which is a city-owned utility. Wixon and Councilman Gary Allen have said the council approved the agreement so Wixon could serve as monitor for the system and notify a technician of problems. Bingham also said that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation was looking into Wixon’s actions. That was not the case, according to the KBI.

Cure is filing affidavits on behalf of council members Allen, Robert St. Clair, Mike Kaufmann, Ron Steele, Ron Costlow and Ed McAfee.

The affidavits read that Bingham’s statements were made with malice and exposed the council members to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, and tended to deprive them of the benefits of public confidence and social acceptance, fitting the definition of criminal defamation.

The law states that the truth of the information communicated should be used as evidence. Calls by Cure for Bingham to produce the photograph have been unanswered.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • 042314 Rec funding Build a Lion_72.jpg Missouri Southern students to vote on new fee, going smoke-free

    Students at Missouri Southern State University will vote next week on whether they support creating a fee that would fund athletic and recreation projects. During the annual student senate-sponsored spring election, students also will be asked whether they support a completely tobacco-free campus.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • New Kansas gun law draws support, some reservations

    At John’s Sports Center in Pittsburg on Thursday, firearms manager Adam Gariglietti said he supported Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to sign a bill that will ensure it is legal across the state to openly carry firearms. But, he offered some words of caution. “It’s great that he signed the bill,” Gariglietti said. “But at the same time, common sense goes a long way.”

    April 24, 2014

  • Baxter Springs chili feed to raise money for family of girl facing surgery

    On a Sunday morning in February, 9-year-old Izzy Morris woke up her mother complaining of a headache. Teresa Morris gave her daughter medicine. But an hour later, the headache had worsened. “She was in a lot of pain and started screaming and yelling uncontrollably,” Morris said.

    April 24, 2014

  • Carthage budget committee hears proposal for water, sewer rate increases

    The proposed budget for the Carthage Water & Electric Plant, including increases in water and wastewater rates, dominated discussions Thursday night as the Carthage Budget Ways and Means Committee continued its review of proposed city budgets for the fiscal year starting July 1.

    April 24, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Friday’s Joplin Globe.

    April 24, 2014

  • Severe storms possible this afternoon

    A broken line of thunderstorms will continue to push east across Southeast Kansas and Southwest Missouri this afternoon, bringing a limited tornado risk, and elevated risks for hail and wind damage.

    April 24, 2014

  • Missouri lawmakers file three resolutions calling for impeaching governor

    While Gov. Jay Nixon was in Nevada, Mo., on Wednesday, a Missouri House panel led by Republicans began hearing arguments on three measures calling for impeaching him. Nixon has downplayed the proceedings as a legislative “publicity stunt.” One resolution, sponsored by Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, is critical of Nixon for waiting several months to call special elections to fill three vacated House seats.

    April 23, 2014

  • r042314psumove2.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Moving day for biology and chemistry building at Pittsburg State

    They didn’t all go two-by-two, and the person in charge wasn’t named Noah, but nonetheless, critters of all shapes and sizes were on the move Wednesday. Students, volunteers and staff members helped Delia Lister, director of Nature Reach, relocate everything from a pair of prairie dogs to a vocal macaw named Charlie so that Heckert-Wells Hall — the biology and chemistry building where they are housed on the campus of Pittsburg State University — can undergo a $4.4 million transformation in the coming months.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos 1 Slideshow

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Thursday’s Joplin Globe.

    April 23, 2014