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Science and the Environment
News covering policy and issues related to city and county governments in the Ozarks.

Former Springfield Plant Employee Charged with Misuse of City Funds

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Credit Springfield-Greene County Park Board

Springfield city officials say they regret the actions of a former Southwest Treatment Plant Employee who allegedly stole thousands from the city.

Kelly Green was charged Wednesday with purchasing more than $17,000 through the years for personal expenses, namely worth of herbicides to use on his farm in Bolivar. Green had been treatment plant manager for about three years and prior to that served as interim plant manager. He resigned on Oct. 3, 2014 after being told he also would face a disciplinary hearing.

According to a probable cause statement, investigators believe Green ordered a city employee to use a city credit card to buy the herbicides, and then hired a city employee to take them to his farm.  

The document says that Scott Foley, who was the city's bio-solids coordinator, had obtained training and been certified on purchasing and applying the type of herbicide in question. Foley resigned on Oct. 3, 2014, after being told he too would face a hearing. The probable cause statement says that Foley told a detective he didn’t think he had a choice but to follow Green’s orders.

“The City of Springfield regrets that the actions of a former Southwest Treatment Plant employee have led to criminal charges” reads a press release from the city. “Managers acted immediately and thoroughly when concerns were brought forward and we are confident that the appropriate measures have been taken to prevent future potential misuse of City resources.”

The city released multiple documents pertaining to its investigation of the plant earlier this month.

On Wednesday, it reiterated that it thoroughly reviewed operations at the Southwest Treatment Plant after quickly responding to concerns brought forward by employees in August 2014. Officials say they’re confident that appropriate measures have been taken to prevent future potential misuse of city resources.

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