Ozark Fire Protection District Board of Directors

OZARK FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEMBER WILL REYNOLDS (front row, second from left) took part in a ceremony to celebrate the opening of Ozark Fire Station No. 2 on Sept. 10, 2020.

A member of the Ozark Fire Protection District Board of Directors will have to pay back $6,604 that was found to have been improperly paid from the fire district to his company for work.

Reynolds is the 49-percent owner of NRoute Enterprises, LLC, which outfits law enforcement and emergency services vehicles with lights, video systems, radios, sirens and data communication systems.

The Missouri Ethics Commission determined that in 2019, the Ozark Fire Protection District purchased goods and services from NRoute Enterprises on 10 different occasions, adding up to $33,276.50 in total. The Ethics Commission determined that the transactions were not made in accordance with a competitive bid process or with a contract through the fire protection district made after public notice had been given.

A whistleblower complaint started the state’s investigation into the fire district. It found the whistleblower to be credible.

"The law is clear that public officials cannot use their position for personal enrichment. When officials are serving themselves and not the people, we bring accountability,” State Auditor Nicole Galloway said in a statement offered in response to the order from the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The Missouri Ethics Commission determined probable cause that Reynolds violated state law by performing services for the Ozark Fire Protection District while also serving as an elected member of its board of directors.

“Reynolds contends that he did not intend to violate any conflict of interest laws and was unaware at the time that his actions could result in a finding of probable cause to believe he violated a conflict of interest statute,” the Ethics Commission report reads.

Reynolds was given 45 days to pay $6,604 to the Missouri Ethics Commission. In the event that he does not make the payment, the Ethics Commission will impose the full fee of $33,021.

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