News and Press Releases

former stover mayor pays $10,000 fine for lying to federal agent
about adulterated drinking water samples

December 2, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that the former mayor of Stover, Mo., has been sentenced in federal court on charges related to violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Scott Allen Beckmann, 42, of Stover, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, to 10 years of probation, including five months of home confinement and 30 days in a half-way house. The court also ordered Beckmann to pay a $10,000 fine.

As a condition of his probation, Beckmann is not allowed to work for the state of Missouri or any political subdivision of the state, including the city of Stover. Beckmann resigned as mayor of Stover on the morning of his sentencing hearing. Under Missouri law, it is illegal for a convicted felon to hold elected office.

On March 2, 2011, Beckmann was convicted at trial of misprision of a felony and of making a false statement to a federal agent.

Co-defendant Richard R. Sparks, 55, of Stover, was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine after he pleaded guilty to making a false statement. Sparks, the superintendent of the city’s public works department, admitted that he submitted a public water supply chain of custody record to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources that contained a false sampling location.

Sparks bore primary responsibility for the collection and submission for analysis of water samples taken on behalf of the city. Federal law requires the city to submit monthly water samples to be analyzed for bacteriological contaminants such as fecal coliform, and to conduct lead and copper sampling once every three years.

Beckmann, who was the mayor of Stover, knew about Sparks’ criminal activity but concealed it from an agent of the Environmental Protection Agency – Criminal Investigation Division.

Beckmann also lied to a federal law enforcement agent on Dec. 19, 2007. Beckmann was asked whether he knew that Sparks was adding chlorine to the city drinking water samples that were submitted to the Department of Natural Resources. Beckmann falsely denied any knowledge of the activity, although he earlier had admitted at a board of alderman meeting that he knew Sparks was putting chlorine in the city’s drinking water samples because the city water couldn’t pass inspection.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys 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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