Mehlville fire district officials attend ethics conference

A Mehlville Fire Protection Board of Directors member and three district employees were among nearly 400 elected and appointed Missouri public officials who attended a recent all-day conference on ethical and legal issues sponsored by Attorney General Jay Nixon.

Board of Directors Treasurer Bonnie Stegman, Chief Jim Silvernail, Assistant Chief Steve Mossotti and District Clerk Carla Juelfs attended the conference that took place last month in Jefferson City.

“The first step in the fight for clean government includes educating public officials on the laws governing ethics in government,” Nixon stated in a news release. “I commend Bonnie Stegman for attending this conference. It is important for all public officials to know these laws, including those governing public access to information, nepotism, conflict of interest and misappropriation of public resources.”

Sessions at the conference covered the state’s Open Meetings and Records Law; conflicts and disclosure/elections/ethics; consumer-protection services available from the attorney general; the Americans with Disabilities Act; the effect of the Hancock amendment on local government; residency requirements; employment issues; nepotism; environmental issues; sexual harassment; and sovereign immunity.

Assistant attorneys general who specialize in these topics made presentations and were available to answer questions.

“Local public officials in Missouri are faced with important ethical and legal questions every day, and the attorney general’s conference went a long way toward preparing us to face those issues,” Stegman stated in the release. “After years of public trust being betrayed by elected and appointed officials of this fire district, this is one step in many of bringing accountable and transparent government to south county. I look forward to using this valuable information in serving the voters of (the) Mehlville Fire Protection District.”