In a surprise move and under mysterious circumstances, the Camden County Commission voted to ask the Missouri State Highway Patrol to conduct a criminal investigation into an unspecified activity at the courthouse.


In a surprise move and under mysterious circumstances, the Camden County Commission voted to ask the Missouri State Highway Patrol to conduct a criminal investigation into an unspecified activity at the courthouse.

When asked, the commission did not provide any further information on what the catalyst was for the action.

However, the investigation appears to stem from an item listed on the commission's agenda for Thursday, July 28  as the “Tony Beabout letter.” Beabout is an employee of the information and technology department who was placed on administrative leave in June. Beabout's name was also mentioned in reference to a motion to “pen a letter” and the threat of some type of litigation. The commission did not discuss details or elaborate on the litigation threat.

Camden County Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken declined to comment on the nature of the investigation. He cited HIPPA regulations. It is unclear what the reference to HIPPA regulations meant. He did, however, inform Commissioners Beverly Thomas and Thom Gumm that he had discussed the possibility of a criminal investigation with Camden County Sheriff Dwight Franklin before the commission meeting.

The sheriff, according to Franken, said bringing the highway patrol in to investigate was the best course of action and would eliminate any perceptions of mishandling. Franken said the sheriff said he felt the investigation would be done in a couple of weeks.

The criminal investigation was not the only legal issue the commissioners faced at the meeting.

Also on the agenda was the hiring of an attorney to represent the county in a legal matter involving Bob Anderson, a former employee of the maintenance department. According to the discussion at the meeting, Anderson's position was eliminated, and he is now suing the county. His suit alleges age discrimnation.

Traveler's Insurance, the county's provider, will not cover the legal costs associated with the litigation. The commissioners voted to hire an attorney from the St. Louis area for $300 an hour. The commission did not discuss the details of the Anderson suit. The sheriff could not be reached for additional information on the criminal investigation.