Archive for Friday, January 23, 2009

Jefferson County commissioner resigns

January 23, 2009

Jefferson County Commissioner Don Edmonds, R-McLouth, resigned his position Thursday morning, said Travis Oliver, chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party.

It’s not clear whether his resignation is connected to what initially was reported as a theft from a McLouth gasoline station where the commissioner worked.

County and party officials said Edmonds did not give a reason for his resignation.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s office is investigating a reported theft of $12,000 from a McLouth BP station that Edmonds formerly owned and where he worked until Monday as acting manager. But the station’s owners now say all money’s accounted for.

“There is no money missing,” said Gary Haag, general manager for Haag Oil in Topeka.

Edmonds sold the station to Haag Oil last year, and he had been working as acting manager. Haag said Edmonds must have known he was going to be let go on Monday because he had kept seven days worth of financial paperwork and had compiled a list of demands.

On Monday, Haag officials called police because they thought Edmonds also had five days worth of cash deposits. When company officials asked him about the cash, Edmonds did not dispute the assumption, Haag said.

But because banks were closed on Monday, a federal holiday, company officials couldn’t know Edmonds actually had made the deposits, Haag said.

“I don’t understand why he chose not to contradict what we were stating,” Haag said.

Company officials have asked the sheriff’s office to return the financial paperwork to them, but Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig said it would be held as evidence until the investigation is complete.

Herrig said Haag Oil officials were adamant on Monday that money was taken.

“We’re going to do our investigating and figure out what’s going on. As far as we know, it’s still, to us, considered theft,” Herrig said.

The sheriff also said he has called in an investigator from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to help because of the number of people who need to be interviewed.

Jefferson County Clerk Linda Buttron said Edmonds delivered a resignation letter to her Thursday morning. He did not give a reason for the resignation, she said.

Attempts to reach Edmonds on Thursday were unsuccessful.

Oliver said the Jefferson County Republican central committee would meet to select a replacement at 9 a.m. Jan. 31 at the Fairview Township Fire Department, 7424 Ferguson Road. The commission term expires in 2010.

Herrig said Thursday that no arrests had been made in the case. He said he expected to forward information to Jefferson County Attorney Caleb Stegall in about a week.


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