News and Press Releases

Stover mayor faces additional charge

Indicted for lying to federal agent about adultered drinking water samples

December 2, 2010

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 earlier had 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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