A Parkville Road District Commissioner and her son are in hot water after allegedly diverting road millings from a project to a fireworks stand.
Brenda Tetters, 75, and her son Kurt Eckard, 50, face a Class D felony charge of stealing after diverting 200-240 tons of gravel millings from a project in the Misty Woods subdivision to Eckard’s fireworks stand in Riverside, according to court documents.
In the probable cause statement, Parkville Special Road District Superintendent Terry Swearingin reported that Tetters ordered him to divert the millings to her son’s fireworks stand in March, about a month before the project began. After a second request just before the project began, Swearingin contacted the road district’s attorney who stated that the millings have value and to divert the material would be stealing.
Tetters contacted Swearingin a third time and when he stated that he had talked to the attorney about it Tetters told him to disregard her earlier instructions and her son Kurt would ‘Do what he does and take care of it.’
On April 18, Eckard approached an employee of the asphalt company working on the project and ordered the diversion. The employee recognized Eckard as an inspector for the road district in years past. The employee further said that Eckard had diverted millings before but the location was different this year.
The employee questioned the diversion but Eckard allegedly said that his mother was in charge of the district and gave her authority to redirect the material. Then 10-12 dump truck loads were diverted to the fireworks stand, worth $12.67 a ton or $2,500-$3,000.
Eckard was previously charged and less than a week prior on April 12, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of receiving stolen property after he used a Parkville Road District credit card to purchase auto parts for personal use.
He was sentenced to five years probation and 150 hours of community service in that case.