St. Joseph

St. Joseph School District

The embattled St. Joseph Board of Education Thursday night appears to have put one of its many legal problems behind it.

The board voted 5-0 to settle a lawsuit filed by CFO Beau Musser after he was falsely accused of sexual misconduct.

"We are relieved that we are at this point," said board member Chris Danford.

The amount of the settlement was not released. But it appears there are still a few details to work out.

Musser was one of the whistle-blowers on $270,000 in stipends secretly given to 54 top administrations last spring by former superintendent Fred Czerwonka.

According to his lawsuit, Musser was worried that the board was kept in the dark about the stipends and concerned it may violate Missouri law.

When he brought those concerns to Czerwonka and HR director Doug Flowers he was accused of misconduct. According to the lawsuit, Czerwonka and Flowers offered to buy out Musser's contract in return for his silence on the stipends.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

The legal woes of the St. Joseph School District continue after a fourth federal grand jury subpoena was issued to the district.

This latest subpoena, according to sources, demands documents ranging from expense reports and time sheets of some top district administrators to contracts with district vendors.

The FBI and the U.S. attorney in Kansas City have been investigating the district for almost a year.

Previous subpoenas have sought records of district maintenance workers after allegations that some employees were doing work for administrators at their homes during school hours.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

In a surprise move, a St. Joseph School District board member resigned Thursday morning.

Dr. Dan Colgan is a former board president and was superintendent for 14 years in the district before retiring in 2006 and getting elected to the school board.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Almost two years to the day that he signed his contract with the St. Joseph School District, Superintendent Fred Czerwonka has been fired.

The action was announced in a statement Saturday morning from the district. The board voted 6-0 to fire Czerwonka. Former district superintendent and board president Dan Colgan was absent.

No other personnel actions were taken, according to the statement.

Sources say the district has already created a list of potential interim superintendents if or when Czerwonka exits.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

The No. 2 person in the St. Joseph School District, who is now on administrative leave, claims he is not the target of an ongoing FBI investigation of the district.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Update: Jan. 22, 2:25 pm

The St. Joseph School District has confirmed that Superintendent Fred Czerwonka and Chief Operating Officer Rick Hartigan are now on administrative leave.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Officials in the St. Joseph School District have been nervously waiting for months for a report from the Missouri State Auditor.

KCUR has learned that the report is back and the board will discuss it Tuesday in executive session.

The Missouri State Auditor moved a five-member team into district headquarters last Spring after it was revealed that the new St. Joseph school superintendent, Dr. Fred Cerwonka, handed out $5,000 stipends to 54 administrators without seeking board approval.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

The St. Joseph School District is facing a raft of problems these days. The federal investigation into the District's improper use of stipends continues with a third subpoena issued on Nov. 20. On this edition of Up to Date, we get the latest on the continuing scandal. 

Guests:

Sam Zeff / KCUR

The federal investigation into the St. Joseph School District is becoming more focused.

A third grand jury subpoena was served on the Missouri district late Thursday.

This latest subpoena for documents asks for some very specific information.

In a news release, the district says the grand jury sitting in Kansas City, Mo., wants to know about the district's tuition reimbursement and teacher certificate reimbursement programs.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

The St. Joseph School District in St. Joseph, Mo., faces a raft of problems, including an investigation by the FBI, a federal grand jury in Kansas City, the U.S. Department of Education and the Missouri State Auditor. 

But at least one of the embattled district’s problems may be cycling to an end.

www.sjsd.k12.mo.us

Probably best known as the home of the Pony Express, St. Joseph, Missouri received a shock when the Feds came to town. Currently, the School District there is being scrutinized by the FBI, grand jury subpoenas have been issued, and the State Auditor has weighed in with an in-depth review of financial activities involving district administrators.

KCUR’s Sam Zeff has been looking into this and he joins Steve Kraske to explain what has caused all the interest and just how much trouble it could mean for the district.

Abolishing Daylight Savings

Mar 12, 2013

Saturday night, as our clocks sprung forward and we lost an hour of our day, one man in Missouri was hoping this would be the last Daylight Savings Time he went through. Representative Delus Johnson of St. Joseph, Mo. proposed a bill that would extend the Daylight Savings change all year long.


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St Joseph, Mo. – A never-reported liaison between Kansas City and St Joseph police more than 30 years ago led to a conviction of a serial rapist, now charged with more rapes in Kansas City. Bernard Jackson was a suspect in at least two rapes of women in the Pony Express City in 1976 and 77. There was no physical evidence to charge him there.

Current St. Joseph Detective Commander Jim Connors tells KCUR Jackson was considered in both cities.