Columbia native to lead state alcohol agency

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:11 a.m. CDT, Friday, June 20, 2008

The Department of Public Safety has new directors for two of its divisions, pending confirmation from the Senate.

Gov. Matt Blunt appointed Dale Roberts to serve as supervisor of the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control on Monday, a position filled by Steve Shimmens on an interim basis after the firings of former supervisor Keith Fuller and his deputy, Lori Baskins, on April 19. Blunt appointed Michael Schler to the position of deputy director.

Fuller was on administrative leave and had been the subject of an internal investigation when he was fired.

On Friday, Blunt appointed Randy Cole to serve as state fire marshal. Cole fills the position formerly held by Bill Farr, who resigned April 15.

Roberts, 52, is chief administrative law judge for the Missouri Public Service Commission. He graduated from Creighton University with a degree in classical civilization and Latin, and he earned a law degree at MU, graduating in 1987. He is also a Columbia native and attended Hickman High School.

Roberts is vice president of the Central Missouri Humane Society and is a certified safety instructor at the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club. He shares his household with his dog, Odysseus.

Officials at the Missouri Department of Public Safety have been silent about the dismissal of Fuller and Baskins. Despite those circumstances, Roberts said he foresees no lingering problems.

“I can’t imagine any residual problems,” Roberts said. “We’re all trying to accomplish the same goal.”

Roberts added that despite cuts to the Public Safety budget, his division will maintain good relations with law enforcement agencies.

Cole, 46, was appointed assistant fire marshal in 1996 and served as interim fire marshal after Farr’s resignation. Cole has worked for the Missouri Division of Fire Safety since 1986 as a fire investigator and a regional chief investigator. Cole holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Central Missouri State University and graduated from Jefferson City High School.

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