Nepotism in a Heartland town? - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Bloomfield, MO

Nepotism in a Heartland town?

Nepotism in a Heartland town?
By: Ryan Tate

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. --The Missouri Attorney General's Office sent an investigator to Bloomfield, Missouri Tuesday to look into allegations of nepotism.  According to state law, no city official or employee can hire or appoint a family member to a city job or office.

According to a spokesman for the Office, the allegations step from a complaint against Mayor Donna Gard hiring her husband and sister to drive the one of the City's transit buses in the past.  The Mayor did not comment Tuesday, saying she would address the allegations Wednesday after meeting with the investigator.  She did tell a local newspaper that the her husband was not paid and did it out of the "kindness of his heart."

Bloomfield Transit Administrator Penny Shepard, noticed the hirings in September.

"I went through the reimbursements, and saw something wrong, went to the City Clerk and the aldermen, then to the Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney's office," Shepard said.

Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Briney Welborn passed the case onto the Missouri Attorney General's office.

Mayor Gard will speak with the investigator Wednesday morning. According to an Attorney General's office spokesman, if found guilty of nepotism, a city official is removed from office.

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