(Updated June 13, 2018)

 

Federal judge rules in favor of commissioners

CAMDEN COUNTY - The lawsuit between Rowland Todd and Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty, Commissioners Beverly Thomas and Don Williams is over.

Todd was claiming the commissioners violated his First Amendment rights of Freedom of Speech because he spoke out against what he felt was the county wasting money in the hiring of a new Human Resources Administrator and also claims that Hasty publicly called him a thief in that he “stole records” from the Human Resource Department.

Todd was suing as an individual against the individual commissioners and not Camden County Clerk vs Camden County Commission.

Federal Judge Brian C. Wimes issued a 16 page ruling last week in favor of the commissioners due mainly to the decision that elected officials speech is not protected by the First Amendment and Todd’s letter sent to the press was not from him as an individual but from him as County Clerk.

Wimes was appointed as District Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western District of Missouri by President Barack Obama in September of 2011 and he was sworn in on April 30, 2012.

A press release from the County Commission (written from the Pleban Law firm) explained their take on the judge’s ruling.

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Judge’s ruling

Editor’s note: The following is the judgment that was issued by Judge Brian C. Wimes last week in its entirety).

The PDF version of this judgment is available by clicking this link Judge's ruling - Todd vs Hasty 6-6-2018

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
WESTERN DIVISION

ROWLAND TODD,
Plaintiff,
v.
GREG HASTY, et al.,
Defendants.

Case No. 2:17-CV-04054-BCW

JUDGMENT AND ORDER

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Commissioner’s press release

June 7, 2018
CAMDEN COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WIN SUIT BROUGHT BY CAMDEN COUNTY CLERK

Camden County Clerk, Roland Todd, sued Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty and Commissioners Beverly Thomas and Don Williams seeking actual and punitive damages for claims of first amendment retaliation and defamation. The controversy arose in 2015 when the Commission made the Human Resources a separate department from the Clerk’s Office.

The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri has now entered a summary judgment in favor of Commissioners Hasty, Thomas and Williams on all claims and allegations brought by Todd. The trial was scheduled to begin on August 6 in Jefferson City.

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Rowland Todd press release

(Editor’s note: The following is the press release issued by the attorney for Rowland Todd, Jay Kirksey, followed by a release we received last Friday from Todd.)

“For the Record – “The Federal Judge recognized that Rowland stated concerns as a clerk and citizen, but found that the concerns were within his capacity as clerk and therefore not the exercise of ‘free speech’ solely as a ‘citizen.’

“The substance of Rowland's claim was not decided by the Judge. The citizens of Camden County should be proud and thankful that Rowland Todd, as their clerk, is willing to speak out for the interests of the citizens. Doing the right thing is always the right thing.” Jay Kirksey

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Five arrested in drug investigation

MILLER COUNTY – Five people have been arrested after a lengthy investigation by the Miller County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) and the Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force (MMDTF).

The MCSD claimed that this was a long term narcotics investigation that began after receiving information about a suspected heroin and fentanyl drug ring inside Miller County.

On June 4, as part of the drug ring investigation, a person of interest was identified which led to a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Stefanie Cavanaugh.

Officers searched the vehicle and found suspected heroin in Cavanaugh’s possession, the MCSD said.

Cavanaugh was taken into custody and was being held on a $50,000 class C felony bond for delivery of a controlled substance.

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Sidewalk projects approved

JEFFERSON CITY – Sidewalk improvements in several communities in Miller, Morgan and Moniteau counties have been approved by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission last week.

At its regular monthly meeting today in Jefferson City, the commission approved improvements in the communities of Barnett, Marys Home, Latham and St. Elizabeth.

The low bid of $131,318 was submitted by Concrete Solution, LLC. The work will reconstruct existing deficient sidewalks to put them in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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