City manager assistant resigns after alcohol arrest

Friday, April 17, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — An administrative assistant to Columbia City Manager Bill Watkins resigned from her position after being arrested Tuesday on suspicion of providing alcohol to three MU students at her home.

Public Communications Director Toni Messina said Deidre Hoelzeman's resignation would be effective Thursday.

Hoelzeman, 42, of 1 Heather St. in Fulton, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of four counts of supplying alcohol to a minor.

Her husband, Frank "Francis" Hoelzeman, 40, an events assistant with MU's athletic department, was also arrested on suspicion of four counts of supplying alcohol to a minor, four counts of sexual misconduct and one count of false imprisonment.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said Frank Hoelzeman was no longer an MU employee effective Monday, one day before he was arrested. Citing MU's privacy policy, Basi declined to say whether the students had contacted the school before Hoelzeman was arrested.

A part-time events assistant since April 2004, Frank Hoelzeman was responsible for supervising staff, helping with entry-level security, cleanup and other ushering activities at the MU sports complex, which includes Mizzou Arena and the Hearnes Center, Basi said Wednesday.

On April 9, the students were three of seven guests who went to a dinner party at the Hoelzemans' home, said Lt. Andre Cook of the Fulton Police Department.

Cook said he would not release the names of the students — one 19-year-old and two 20-year-olds.

On April 10, all three students were interviewed by Fulton police in Columbia before leaving for Easter over the weekend.

The students told officers that Hoelzeman gave them alcohol and once they were intoxicated, fondled and groped them throughout the night, Cook said. The students also told police that while trying to leave Hoelzeman's home, one student was physically assaulted.

On Monday and Tuesday, police interviewed all of the guests at the party and were told by a 17-year-old that she had also been touched inappropriately by Frank Hoelzeman after he had given her several alcoholic beverages. She told police her cell phone and coat were taken from her to keep her from leaving.

Both Deidre and Frank Hoelzeman have been released from Callaway County Jail on Tuesday after posting bond, Cook said.

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