Sikeston redevelopment coordinator resigns over FEMA maps

Thursday, October 18, 2012

SIKESTON, Mo. -- A longtime city staff member has opted to resign following the results of an investigation into the city's handling of critical flood plain map information.

Trey Hardy, community redevelopment coordinator for Sikeston, confirmed that he resigned from his position Friday.

In July, the city hired Richard Greenberg of the Greensfelder law firm in St. Louis to investigate the possible mishandling of important correspondence regarding FEMA's new flood-plain maps.

During a closed-session meeting with the city council last week after the recent release of findings and recommendations from the investigating law firm, "I was given a choice and I chose to resign," Hardy said.

In addition to other duties such as overseeing code enforcement and coordinating city efforts with the Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority, Hardy was tasked with flood-plain management for the city.

According to the report, information was sent by email from a member of U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's staff to city manager Doug Friend on May 31.

The email included copies of certified letters sent to city officials as well as shipping receipts for the city's copy of FEMA's new flood-plain maps showing they were received Aug. 7, 2010, and Aug. 10, 2012.

The email also includes the minutes and attendance sign-in sheet for a meeting about the new maps held Aug. 5, 2010.

Hardy was listed among Sikeston city officials attending the meeting although he was unable to recall being at that meeting.

Among findings in the report from Greenberg, he observed that "Sikeston's records are surprisingly incomplete" and that "the incident demonstrates a disquieting lack of communication and supervisory action within city hall."

The findings also note failures by Hardy to advise council members of information he knew to be important regarding the new flood-plain maps including appealing elevations and flood-zone classifications.

"That does not excuse [city manager] Doug Friend and [city counselor] Chuck Leible from withholding information from the city council at three separate city council meetings: June 4, June 5 and June 19," councilman Mike Bohannon said. Bohannon declined to offer further comment.

The report, however, does not list any other city staff members as having withheld information from the council in this matter.

The city did not send out a news release regarding the investigation's findings and recommendations and Friend declined to offer any comment when contacted.

Pertinent address:

Sikeston, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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