Former Sarcoxie minister Donald Peckham has dropped his attempt to have his prison sentence on two sodomy counts dismissed.
Court records indicate that Peckham filed papers Feb. 18 asking that his appeal of his conviction be dismissed. Peckham was sentenced in September to seven years on a second degree sodomy count and 15 years on a first degree sodomy count in connection with sexual activity with underaged boys.
Peckham, 72, filed his appeal Dec. 22.
Peckham had a long history of allegations involving similar problems when he was the pastor at several Methodist churches in Kansas dating back three decades, according to an investigative report by The Joplin Globe.
Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney Dean Dankelson told The Globe last year that his office was investigating allegations that Dankelson had abused as many as 12 children.
A settlement in the lawsuit in the age discrimination lawsuit filed by former KODE weather reporter Marny Stanier Midkiff against the Weather Channel may come after discovery is completed, according to documents filed this week in U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Ms. Midkiff, who went by her maiden name of Marny Stanier as an on-camera meteorologist (OCM)on the Weather Channel, claimed she was dismissed because of her age and sex. She had worked there since April 13, 1987.
In her petition, Ms. Stanier claimed that her boss, the Weather Channel's senior vice president of programming and production Terry Connelly "openly expressed animosity toward older female OCMs. He spoke freely of his goal to 'young up' The Weather Channel. At one point, Connelly announced, 'we're old and we can't be...our ratings are going down.' "
Connelly used terms such as "matronly" and "dowdy" to describe the older female OCMS, according to the petition. In June 2003, he hired an image consultant to "help the women look younger and sexier," the petition said.
In the fall of 2003, a "reorganization" of personnel took place. Both of the female OCMS in their 40s, Ms. Stanier and Terri Smith, were fired. Their supervisory duties were turned over to a man. "He turned over their on-camera work to the younger males and females he had been hiring and continued to hire during the 'reorganization," the petition said.
"He did not consider Ms. Stanier for any of the OCM openings, although she was dramatically more qualified than the younger individuals he hired." Ms. Stanier was 41 when she was fired.
Attorneys for Ms. Stanier indicate they will be looking into "age and sex-biased comments and actions by individuals participating in the decision" when they begin the discovery process.
They will also look for "treatment of similarly situated employees."
Her lawyers said they anticipate seeking a protective order so that the Weather Channel cannot disclose "confidential business and personnel records and information to persons other than the plaintiff, her trial counsel and professional assistants."
The filing included a list of 20 potential witnesses, including former Weather Channel CEO Bill Burke, Lee Davis, the consultant who put on the forums for OCMs, two other OCMs who were fired, and a number of people who allegedly witnessed discriminatory statements and actions. Other witnesses may be added after the discovery process, according to the filing.
Ms. Stanier is asking for back pay, benefits, reinstatement and/or front pay, lawyers' fees, other "appropriate damages."