Former St. Joseph School District Superintendent About To Be Released

Oct 17, 2017

Former St. Joseph school superintendent Dan Colgan arrives at federal court in Kansas City last November for sentencing on wire fraud charges.
Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

A former superintendent and school board president for the St. Joseph School District is out of prison and in an area halfway house.

Seventy-one year old Dan Colgan went to federal prison for wire fraud in connection with a scheme that dramatically inflated his Missouri state pension. Colgan is now in a Kansas City area halfway house preparing to be released on November 16, according to the Bureau of Prisons inmate locator.

He spent most of his time at the federal prison in Pekin, Illinois.

In addition to his one year prison term, Colgan had to repay the state some $660,000.  He was sentenced in federal court in Kansas City last November, the end of a long and ugly chapter in the history of the St. Joseph district.

Colgan’s conviction came at the end of a two year FBI investigation into the district, which began after the district secretly paid $5,000 stipends to 54 administrators. At one point, a pair of FBI agents was attending every St. Joseph School Board meeting.

The problems in the district of 11,000 students are hardly over. The board wants to hike property taxes to raise $11.5 million more a year. The district has been running a deficit since the 2014-2015 school year. Up until this year, the school board has been reluctant to go to the voters asking for a tax increase because of the Colgan criminal investigation and a scathing report from the Missouri State Auditor two years ago.

The property tax increase is on the Nov. 7 ballot in St. Joseph.

Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR and a member of the Kansas News Service.  He's also co-host of KCUR's political podcast Statehouse Blend Kansas. Follow him on Twitter @samzeff.