Saturday, February 24, 2024

Attorney General: We don't know if Carthage city officials violated Sunshine Law and we're not going to do anything about it


The Missouri Attorney General's office will not take action on allegations that Carthage city officials violated the Sunshine Law.

"We have concluded our review of this matter and we cannot conclude that the city has not complied with the Sunshine Law. Our office takes no position on this matter and we will not be taking any further action," Jay Turner, the director of Sunshine Law compliance for the attorney general said in a letter dated January 16.

The original complaint was sent to the attorney general by Jana Schramm, a candidate for the Ward Five City Council position in the April 2 election. In Turner's letter he addressed her as "Mr. Schramm."

The original complaint came after city officials did not turn over a request for a schedule of City Attorney Nathan Dally's hours working for the city and did not turn over details of contracts with the city administrator and assistant city administrator.

The city clerk told Schramm no written schedule existed. Dally told the attorney general's investigator, his agreement with the city was for him to work a 30-hour week and he kept his own schedule.

Regarding Ms. Schramm's request for my schedule, it is important to note that I do not maintain a written schedule that can be provided. This was communicated to Ms. Schramm by the city clerk, who clarified that no such document exists pursuant to her request. 

During the City Council meeting on November 14, 2023, I explained my dual roles as an assistant prosecuting attorney and city attorney, a position I have held while still working for the prosecuting attorney’s office. 

My current full-time status with the city, compensated based on a 30-hour week arrangement, was a decision made by the council, factoring in various employment scenarios from the last salary study. 

I emphasized at the meeting that despite unconventional hours, I diligently fulfill my 30-hour commitment to the city, as evidenced during the week of trial I still worked 30 hours that week in preparation of and attendance at City Court. As such, there is no written record of my schedule to provide to Ms. Schramm.
Schramm was also interested in contract details and arrangements that might have been made with current City Administrator Greg Dagnan, who was promoted to his position after serving as assistant city administrator under Tom Short.

Dally told Turner the information Schramm wanted could not be provided because he was told by someone from the Missouri Municipal League that all he had to give Schramm was "name, position, salary and length of service."

Dally said, "These agreements traditionally are not ratified by the city council until departure and should not be considered contracts. They contain personal information not subject to disclosure under the Sunshine Law."

In a heavily redacted portion of his follow-up letter to Turner, Dally indicated there were guarantees that had been made by Mayor Dan Rife, but they were closed records because they had not yet been approved by the City Council.


Anonymous said...

AG must be as big of a clown as Dagnan Dally and Rife. Carthage take out the trash.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe, and hear me out, there was actually no violation…

Anonymous said...

Carthage is full of drama queens

Anonymous said...

Carthage is a mess. A federal takeover is in order.

Anonymous said...

Sounds stereotypically Republican.