Auditor Finds Fault with Bonuses, Banquet at Monarch Fire

Michael Calhoun

CHESTERFIELD (KMOX) – Despite recent political mud-wrestling between board members, State Auditor Tom Schweich gives the Monarch Fire Protection District a “FAIR” rating.

“There had been, what we thought, was a retirement incentive offered to seven employees that violated the Missouri Constitution by offering them what was, in effect, a half a million dollars in additional payment for services already rendered,” Schweich says.

Some recent controversy is represented in the report — a $26,000 banquet, including trinket hand-outs,and whether certain salaries are in line with neighboring fire districts. Schweich said the banquet “may not have been an appropriate use of district funds.”

He is also concerned with forty instances of the board going into closed session without giving a legitimate reason and also with the bidding process for legal services.

Monarch Board treasurer Robin Harris says he wasn’t in favor of the banquet, and he agrees with many, but not all, of the findings.

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