Documents related to 'A chief under fire'

Sunday, January 14, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:23 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Copies of the Boone County Fire Protection District's fiscal year audits from 2004 and 2005. The audits show that money used for the “Perseverance” statue was written off the books in between that time. The 2005 fiscal year audit also shows that thousands of dollars in petty cash from different accounts is missing, that the fire district went $231,000 over budget for administrative expenses during the year and that the county agency misused more than $500,000 in federal disaster money.


Text from former volunteer battalion chief Todd Burke’s speech to the Boone County Fire Protection District’s governing board meeting on July 21, 2005. Burke criticized the fire district, Fire Chief Steve Paulsell and Assistant Chief Sharon Curry for alleged mismanagement and unprofessional behavior.


The two-page complaint filed by Division Chief Chuck Leake against Assistant Chief Sharon Curry that prompted many of the former employees’ problems.



Two grievances by the fire district's former financial director, Andrea Meinhart, from June 28 and July 17.


Former employee Bruce Piringer's complaint filed in federal court against Paulsell and the Fire Protection District.


Text from Fire Chief Steve Paulsell's statement to the Boone County Fire Protection District’s governing board on Oct. 20, 2005. Paulsell defended the fire district saying “we are getting our work done.”


An undated letter from former board chairman Willis Smith’s prepared statement regarding controversies surrounding the Boone County Fire Protection District. Smith committed suicide in January 2005 at the age of 77. A death investigation said Smith was arguing with his wife, Marilyn, before killing himself. She declined to tell investigators about the nature of their argument. Fire Chief Steve Paulsell said Smith had been under stress from work and was “delusional” because of an unnamed health problem.


A letter dated Aug. 29, 2005, from former Boone County Fire Protection District Treasurer Kay Murray and Fire Chief Steve Paulsell to Glenda Castrop, the former leader of a petition to recall the fire district’s elected governing board. The letter says that the “Perseverance” statue cost more than $200,000 and that fundraising activities used to pay off the debt would be resuming in the “near future.”


Boone County Fire Protection District financial records showing the writing off of $190,387 for the “Perseverance” statue on Jan. 13, 2005. The fire district then drew on $100,000 from “general funds,” referring to the district’s general revenue fund. Also in this file is an e-mail from Sue Miller, an accountant with the Columbia firm of Marberry, Miller & Bales, to Assistant Chief Sharon Curry explaining the transactions. Miller writes that “when Andrea (Meinhart, the fire district's former bookkeeper) started doing the accounting she made a journal entry to zero out the negative cash from the sculpture cash and took it out of general cash.” General cash is taxpayer money.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.