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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BETH PHILLIPS


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.justice.gov/usao/mow/index.html


DECEMBER 2, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


STOVER MAYOR FACES ADDITIONAL CRIMINAL CHARGE


INDICTED FOR LYING TO FEDERAL AGENT

ABOUT FALSE DRINKING WATER SAMPLES


            JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the mayor of Stover, Mo., was indicted by a federal grand jury today on an additional criminal charge related to violating the Safe Drinking Water Act.


            Scott Allen Beckmann, 41, of Stover, was charged in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City. Today’s superseding indictment replaces an indictment that was returned on April 15, 2010. In addition to the original count of misprision of a felony, today’s indictment charges Beckmann with making a false statement.


            According to the indictment, Richard Sparks, the city’s public works superintendent, added bleach to a drinking water sample that he submitted to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, in order to prevent an accurate laboratory analysis of the sample. Beckmann, the mayor of Stover, allegedly knew about Sparks’ criminal activity but concealed it from an agent of the Environmental Protection Agency – Criminal Investigation Division.


            Beckmann allegedly lied to a federal law enforcement agent on Dec. 19, 2007, when asked whether he had knowledge of Sparks’ criminal activity. Beckmann falsely denied any knowledge of the activity, the indictment says, although he had earlier admitted at a board of alderman meeting that he knew Sparks was adding chlorine to the city water samples.


            Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Pansing Brown and Daniel M. Nelson. It was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency – Criminal Investigation Division and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mow/index.html