Missouri's laundry business
I was gone from St. Louis for 26 years. When I returned in 2006 I found the State of Missouri provided workman comp casualty insurance for smaller businesses.
Apparently, in 1993 the state legislature created the Missouri Employer’s Mutual Insurance Company, to help small businesses pay lower rates than being charged by insurance companies—state government competing against private business!
The governor appoints the board of directors. That would make it a public agency…right? Wrong… according to Missouri Employer’s Mutual when reporters tried to look at finance records.
In 1993, the nation was coming out of a weak recession which caused insurance rates to go up for riskier small businesses, so the state stepped in. But this was 2006. Why would Missouri kept running an insurance company after the economy improved?
Well, part of that question was answered Thursday, when Roger Wilson—former governor and CEO of Missouri Employer’s Mutual, pleaded guilty in federal court to misdemeanor fraud.
Thanks to a state audit, followed by an FBI investigation, we learned this week that we, as in you and me, paid $8,000 to the Missouri Democratic Party as part of this fraud.
Frontenac attorney Ed Griesedieck donated $4,000 to Governor Jay Nixon’s campaign back in 2008. Griesedieck’s law firm had a lucrative contract to represent Missouri Employer’s Mutual. That's is just “pay-to-play” politics.
But a year later, Griesedieck was involved in a scheme that stole money from the insurance company and gave it to the Democratic Party. In 2009, Griesedieck’s law firm made two donations to the state Democratic Party totaling $8,000.
The law firm then falsely billed Missouri Employer’s Mutual $8,000 in legal fees and got the money back. Yes, this is where you and I paid back Griesedieck $8,000. In other word, the taxpayers gave Missouri Democrats eight thousand dollars.
So, now I know why the state continued to run an insurance company. It was a good way to get me and you to give to the Democratic Party when we otherwise may not be inclined to do so.
Wilson and Griesedieck pleaded guilty to Federal misdemeanors and possibly will not have to serve jail time.
Another person involved with the fraud was Doug Morgan of Town and Country. He died in November on the day he was to appear in Federal Court on other unrelated charges.
Wow, people in Frontenac and Town and Country stealing $8,000! Back in the day, that would be chump change for people from Frontenac and Town and Country.
What gets me is stealing $8K is a felony. Why isn’t a state prosecutor somewhere filing felony theft charges against these guys?
For eight days last summer the Missouri Department of Transportation provided circus bears in front of the Transportation Management Center on I-64 at Highway 141.
The building houses technicians who spot regional traffic trouble on TV monitors, and traffic engineers who are highly-trained to find and fix problems with highways, bridges, signs and traffic signals.
But apparently they can’t spot things amiss in front of their own building.
For eight days in July, the Missouri state flag was flown upside down. As we know, in the center of the Missouri flag are two brown bears holding the state seal (an emblem—not a water mammal).
With the flag flown upside down, on a windy day it appears as if the bears are dancing on their heads, and trying to balance a ball.
Here's my email that got the bears back on their feet:
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 12:48 AM
Cc: 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'MHTC@modot.mo.gov'
Subject: MoDot sponsors State Circus Bears
Is the circus coming to District 6? Is MODOT sponsoring the circus in the St. Louis? I ask because for the last week bears holding the Missouri State Seal have been dancing on their heads in front of the MoDot building at 141 and 64/40.
Yes, people at MoDot apparently do not know up from down as the Missouri Flag has been flying upside down in front of a very visible MoDot building for a week now!
It isn't like I have not mentioned it to employees at the building...I have. Perhaps someone in Jefferson City could get the flag flying right side up.