DIXON, Mo. (Oct. 14, 2015) — In his Tuesday night report to the Dixon City Council, Marshal Michael Plummer, the elected head of the Dixon Police Department, drew laughs when telling aldermen that his department's recent problems include bats flying inside the local elementary school and setting off alarms.
Dixon City Marshal Michael Plummer and his wife, former Dixon City Collector Sheila Plummer, have been jailed on felony charges.
Plummer now has considerably more serious problems, He's being held in jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond facing a grand jury indictment on 15 separate charges, and his wife is jail in lieu of a $15,000 cash-only bond on a single Class C felony charge "related to the stealing of water and water services by not billing or changing and reducing the water meter readings to her parents’ home while she was the City Collector."
County officials confirmed that both Plummers were arrested today and remain in jail.
Sheila Plummer's charge dates back to the period between Jan. 1, 2005, and July 31, 2013, when she was a city employee. The Pulaski County grand jurors unsealed an indictment today accusing her of stealing at last $500 worth of water and water service. If convicted of that Class C felony, she faces two to seven years in state prison, or up to double the amount of her "gain from the commission of the crime up to a maximum of $20,000."
Michael Plummer could spend much more time behind bars. Nine of the 15 charges against him are Class C felonies, each carrying a two to seven year term in state prison.
Those felonies include five charges of forgery accusing him of authenticating five BAC (breath alcohol content) Datamaster evidence tickets on four dates in 2014, March 21, May 9, Aug. 12, and Oct, 22, and on Jan. 1, 2015 for three different men and two different women "so that (they) purposed to have been made at another time,"
On the last of those BAC cases, Plummer faces an additional Class A misdemeanor charge of hindering prosecution, punishable by up to a year in county jail, accusing him of "ordering (Assistant Police Chief James LaChance) to perform a BAC test on (a specified woman) when Officer LaChance was not a licensed operator and then releasing her from custody and not forwarding the reports to any prosecutor for charges." Those orders to LaChance were given "for the purpose of preventing the prosecution of (the woman) for conduct constituting the crime of driving while intoxicated."
Plummer is involved in separate civil litigation with LaChance. After LaChance was admitted to a treatment facility, one of LaChance's counselors informed Plummer that LaChance had made a threat against him. Plummer subsequently filed an ex-parte no-contact order against LaChance.
Three additional Class C felonies of forgery accuse Plummer of making three false written applications for a Type III permit for operating breath alcohol analyzers on behalf of LaChance, Dixon's current assistant chief, Lt. Gary Brankel, and a third officer, all between Dec. 30, 2012, and April 25, 2013. Three related Class B misdemeanor charges involving the BAC permits also say state officials were falsely told by Plummer "with the purpose to mislead" that LaChance, Brankel, and the third officer qualified despite "that the training was not completed as stated."
Plummer is also accused of a Class B misdemeanor of making a false declaration and a Class D felony of hindering prosecution accusing him of deceiving Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long in connection with a Nov. 4 stolen car case. According to court documents, Plummer "submitted a letter to Sheriff Long concerning (a) stolen car investigation which (Plummer) knew to be false and lacking in authenticity" and did so "with a purpose to mislead Sheriff Ron Long, a public servant in the performance of his duty," which if convicted would be a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in state prison. He is also accused of "preventing the prosecution of (a man) for unlawfully operating a motor vehicle" on that date and "obstructed, by means of deception, Sheriff Ron Long from performing an act that might aid in the discovery of (the man) by instructing others to write statements which were false, and known by the defendant to be false, and submitting them to Sheriff Ron Long." That second related felony offense carries a penalty of two to four years in state prison.
In addition to all the other felonies, Plummer also faces a Class C felony charge of stealing emergency vehicle lightbars worth at least $500 from the city of Dixon during January or February of this year. Pulaski County Prosecutor Kevin Hillman, in a press release issued by Hillman providing additional information beyond what's revealed in court documents, Hillman said that case involves "the unlawful sales of city owned police vehicle light bars."
Dixon's city government has been under significant scrutiny for some time. During the tenure of former Mayor Jeff Clark, a group of irate residents gathered enough signatures to force a special petition audit of the city government which identified numerous issues, including aldermen who weren't living in the wards from which they had been elected, questionable use of city funds, and holding meetings without proper notice legally required by the Missouri Sunshine Law.
The special report by the State Auditor of Missouri has been public for some time. What's less well-known has been that several Dixon police officers have made complaints that until now had not gone widely public.
According to Hillman, "Around the same time (as the state audit), Dixon City Police officers brought forward several allegations of wrongdoing by the City Marshal to then-Dixon Mayor Jeff Clark. Mayor Clark requested a special investigation of the matters and forwarded that request to Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman. This request was then sent to Missouri State Highway Patrol which began a special investigation conducted by Troopers from the Division of Drug and Crime Control. Their findings, along with further investigation by the Pulaski County Grand Jury, resulted in these charges. This case remains under investigation and it is possible that further charges may be filed in the future."
Clark lost his re-election campaign in April. More recently, he was charged with a Class C misdemeanor of assault. Hillman confirmed earlier this month that the charges against Clark have been dropped in return for Clark entering a diversion program for low-level offenders. Hillman said at the time that the decision to drop charges against Clark was unrelated to other issues involving Dixon.
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