Former ambulance district employee faces charge

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pierce faces misconduct misdemeanor for taking $135,000 back payment

The former office manager of the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District has been charged with official misconduct, following the payment of $135,000 to her in March.

According to a probable cause report filed by Det. Robert Evenson, Jeaniettia Pierce, 47, of Purdy, was issued a criminal summons on Aug. 18 and is charged with the class A misdemeanor for allegedly knowingly demanding or receiving a fee or reward that is not due for the execution of any official act.

According to the statement, on March 10, Pierce made a demand to her employer, the Board of Directors for the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District, for payment of $150,000 for her claim of extra duties she had performed over the past four years with the district.

Pierce was acting as the office manager and as the operations director for four years, and she told the board she believed the district owed her $150,000, and that she had saved the district $135,000.

According to Pierce's calculations, the last operations director received a starting salary of $55,000. She absorbed the duties with a $1,500 raise.

"Pierce claimed her employment consisted of doing her regular job, as well as duties assigned to her that had been previously done by another employee, and that she deserved to be compensated for her extra work," Evenson said in the statement. "By her own actions and statements to the Board of Directors, Pierce had full knowledge of her job description and had been performing the duties assigned to her for at least the previous four years and had been paid a regular salary for those duties. Pierce constructively accepted the terms of her employment, which is illustrated by her continued employment over the past four years."

Evenson said Pierce's demand and acceptance of the payment of $135,000 that was not due to her is a violation of Missouri law.

New board members were sworn in the month after Pierce's request, and they, with the advice of Attorney David Cole, determined the demand by and payment made to Pierce was illegal. Evenson said the board, through Cole, requested repayment, and Pierce refused.

"A public servant, in his/her public capacity or under color of his/her office or employment, commits the crime of official misconduct if: He/she knowingly demands or receives any fee or reward for the execution of any official act or the performance of a duty imposed by law or by the terms of his/her employment, that is not due, or that is more than is due, or before it is due," according to Missouri Revised Statutes 576.040.2.

Pierce has an arraignment scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

She could not be reached for comment and has no representation listed.

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  • My question is; What about the Board members that chose to freely give undeserved District money to a greedy employee that was ALREADY being paid $1,500 per year for these extra duties? That ($1,500) was the actual contract that Mrs. Pierce had entered into in the very beginning with the Board when she took over these extra duties. IT WAS AGREED UPON THEN!!In no way, shape, or form did she deserve an extra $135,000 (four-years later). I can't imagine ANY EDUCATED board members doing such a thing and thinking nobody would be the wiser. It's absolutely a situation of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". That's the way Mrs. Pierce and the three amigos (Board members Vanderpool, Newman, and Fenski)have operated for the last 10-years now. They do what they want without consequences. These three-Board members should also be held accountable. In my opinion, what they did was far worse than what Mrs. Pierce did. They were all sworn in as officers for the District and were trusted to do the right thing. These three Board members, along with Mrs. Pierce, all knew full-well that Mrs. Pierce did not earn, nor did she deserve this $135,000 payment. I keep hearing people saying that Mrs. Pierce took on ALL of the responsibilities of the Director of Operations and that this is why she was paid the extra $135,000. That's absolutely Bull manure. This is not possible as the Operations Director position requires a paramedic license, paramedic training, and paramedic knowledge. NONE OF WHICH MRS.PIERCE HAS!! She would not be capable of Quality Assurance, training or guidance in the role that she had absorbed. She does hold an EMT license which ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT QUALIFY HER TO SERVE AS OPERATIONS DIRECTOR OF AN ALS AMBULANCE SERVICE. The suggestion that she stepped in and performed the regular duties of this position is ridiculous given her basic EMT training and license. The Board of Directors were full aware of that when they paid her off, as was Pierce. The ambulance district used their full time paramedics to pick up all of this slack and extra duties, as they do have the training and knowledge that Pierce lacks. If anyone deserved that extra $135,000 it is Andy Mcaslin. He is the one that stepped in and picked up the slack and not Pierce. Andy is also now the reining Operation's Director, and for that, I applaud the current Board members for their choice. I also applaud the current Board of Directors for their choice of Office Managers. "Two-steps in the right direction". Now, the biggest step left to be made is to alleviate Mr. Daryl Fenski from the equation. This guy should never be allowed to serve on a board again!

    -- Posted by 1WhoKnows on Thu, Aug 27, 2015, at 11:57 AM
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