Businessman in campaign to free employee

Monday, April 1, 2002

SCOTT CITY, Mo. -- A Scott City businessman, outraged after one of his employees was tossed in jail for 90 days, has started a flyer campaign and launched a Web site to try and free him.

Rick Jackson, owner of Riverport Auto, also plans to attend the Scott City Council at 7 p.m. today to plead his mechanic's case.

Randy Eggemeyer, 36, is serving his time in Scott County Jail, charged with failure to appear in court to answer charges of driving an improperly registered vehicle.

Jackson said the whole mess started when Eggemeyer stepped into the wrong car at his repair shop and used-car dealership where Eggemeyer is an auto body mechanic.

"I have like 12 dealership tags," Jackson said. "It's a small town. Police know me and know I have to have insurance to get dealer's tags."

Eggemeyer, whom Jackson said "doesn't comprehend things too well," borrowed a car that didn't have the current tags on it.

According to municipal court records, after his regular license was revoked because he didn't have insurance, Eggemeyer was granted a hardship license, which permits him only to drive to work and home.

On Sept. 16, 2000, Eggemeyer was stopped driving one of Jackson's cars when police noticed the dealer's tag on the vehicle was expired. Since he had Burger King bags in the car, police cited Eggemeyer for failure to comply with his license requirements, in addition to the expired tags and having no proof of insurance.

He paid the fines and was placed on a year's probation.

Court records indicate Eggemeyer violated probation by driving in Sikeston without a license, and municipal judge Allen E. Moss Jr. sentenced him to 30 days.

Eggemeyer walked off to find his attorney, Jackson said. Since he walked out before being booked, Eggemeyer was also charged with escape from custody and his sentence was amended to 90 days.

Jackson is so outraged that he's printed up 3,000 flyers advising anyone entering the Scott City courtroom to request a change of judge. He said Eggemeyer shouldn't have been held accountable for the tags and insurance on the dealership's car in the first place.

Neither the Web site, expage.com/randycourt, nor the flyers lists the judge by name.

Moss could not be reached for comment during the holiday weekend.

Eggemeyer is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday on the escape charge.

abuchanan@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160

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