Former ambulance district employee faces charge
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.