Taxpayer files complaint against NRAD Board attorney, criticizing his oversight of land deal

PLATTE CITY, Mo. - During an extremely heated meeting, taxpayers voiced their displeasure about a questionable Northland land deal.

Some demanded their money back from the Northland Regional Ambulance District (NRAD) Board of Directors. Others asked for resignations.

And one taxpayer said the Board's attorney, Mark Hubbard, should also be disciplined for letting the deal happen on his watch.

As a 41 Action News investigation detailed last year , Board President Kevin Rawlings bought a piece of property near the Camden Point exit of I-29. He then sold it to taxpayers as a location for a new ambulance station.

41 Action News caught up to Rawlings earlier this month on the day the Platte County Prosecutor filed corruption charges for the transaction.

Court documents say Rawlings bought 34 acres for $130,000, but then sold just 1.5 acres for $175,000 to taxpayers. According to the criminal complaint, an appraisal valued the land at just over $30,000.

On Monday, Platte County resident Clint Rhodes unleashed a verbal tirade at the NRAD public meeting, accusing Rawlings of "stealing from taxpayers."

Rhodes also launched criticism at Hubbard and told him he is filing a complaint with Missouri's Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel .

In a letter included with the complaint, Rhodes wrote, "Mr. Hubbard should have been aware of the conflict of interest."

Emails obtained by 41 Action News through a Sunshine request show Hubbard personally received a bid from a landowner on the opposite side of I-29 in February, 2011. The email, which Hubbard forwarded to NRAD's executive director, quoted a price of $100,000.

Upon learning of the other offer, Rawlings responded by email saying, "You need to reply that we already have a contract on ground and won't be needing any more bids. We put out a bid opening and we are sorry he missed it."

41 Action News reported last year that the published "request for bids" did not have a deadline for submissions.

Reached by phone on Tuesday, Hubbard said he would have "no comment" to all questions by 41 Action News because of attorney-client privilege.

 

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