Temporary reassignment continues for Platte City Police Department admins

In a lengthy board of aldermen meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23, the Platte City aldermen heard a report from attorney Katie Worthington about the Platte City Police Department.

Worthington, city attorney Jennifer Snider, city administrator DJ Gehrt and assistant city administrator Marj Gehr were also part of the closed session meeting.

Mayor Frank Offutt, in an email sent to the media that night, noted the board voted 6-0 to accept the oral report from Worthington, who was hired to look into ‘cultural issues’ at the police department.

In a Sept. 10 meeting, Gehrt noted that chief Carl Mitchell and Lt. Al Devalkenaere were reassigned to work with the city administrator and assistant city administrator, respectively, for the next 30 days.

“The police department command staff will remain in their current temporary assignment until further notice,” Offutt stated. “The board of aldermen directed the city attorney and staff to provide implementation options in response to the report and its recommendations to the board at its November meeting.”

According to documents provided — and open to the public — Gehrt’s staff report noted multiple officers have reported new or continued concerns to elected officials. Some officers showed up to a council meeting in late August to discuss issues, but an agreement was made to have the city attorney handle the situation.

The two highest ranking Platte City officers were reassigned to eliminate any perception of involvement or influence, Gehrt said.

In place of Mitchell’s leadership the city got an assist from the Platte County Sheriff’s Office, which allowed Lynda Hacker-Bristow to serve as the interim chief. She was supposed to start work on Wednesday, Sept. 17 but didn’t until Oct. 17. She has a 30-day contract with two additional 30-day extensions, if needed. The memorandum of understanding between the county and the city was formally approved after dealing with hurdles with insurance companies.

Other news:

  • Horticultural Impressions, owned by Aaron Jung, was named the Platte City business of the year.

  • A change order was approved in the amount of $28,250 for demolition of the former Rising Star Elementary School building at 1009 Second Street. The cost of the project grew to $112,550 with the change.

  • An agreement was authorized with Cudney, Ecord, McEnroe and Mullane LLC to do the 2017-18 fiscal year audit, not to exceed $13,700. The company has done the audit for the city since 2005.

  • A resolution was passed to make a $50,015.48 payment to the Platte Valley Plaza Transportation Development District for debt service on a 2008 bond, which paid for the Kentucky and Running Horse Road improvements.

  • Approved a liquor license for all intoxicating liquor and Sunday sales to Minit Mart, LLC after a change of ownership. The business is located at 2300 Running Horse Road.

  • After a series of presentations about ideas for the former Rising Star school property, the parks and recreation committee provided the guidance to negotiate pricing in following order: SFA Architecture and Water Edge Aquatic; Verio and Larken; OHH and Waters Edge Aquatic and Snyder & Associations and Water Edge Aquatic.

  • David Sharp was appointed to the Park and Recreation committee board for an unexpired term set to end in April 2020. He is a 1997 graduate of Platte County High School, attended Northland Career Center and has experience in residential building and commercial artificial turf.

  • The city soccer program has 249 children and volleyball had 41.

  • The third annual Pedal for Platte last month had 80 riders participate. A total of $525 and more than 60 boxes of cereal were donated to benefit the R-3 Treasure Chest.