Platte County authorities have accused the president of a Northland ambulance district of buying land where he knew a new station was planned.
Kevin N. Rawlings, 40, of Dearborn faces a misdemeanor charge of misuse of public information.
He is accused of buying land near the Camden Point exit on Interstate 29 and then selling part of it to the Northland Regional Ambulance District.
According to court records, Rawlings purchased 34 acres in April 2010 for $130,000. He resold 1.5 acres to the ambulance district in March 2011 for $175,000.
Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said Thursday that Rawlings allegedly made $144,000 from the transaction.
There was no record that the agency had the land appraised at that time, court records stated.
However, an appraisal in November 2011 put its worth at $30,600.
Rawlings was elected board president in 2006. He knew as early as 2008 that the district wanted to build a new station near Route U at the Camden Point exit.
According to board minutes, Rawlings instructed the agency’s executive director to look for available property near the exit. The property was owned by the Bank of Weston before Rawlings purchased it.
The district board voted in October to negotiate purchasing two acres owned by Rawlings, according to court records.
The group later sought bids, and Rawlings was the only person to make a formal bid.
When another potential land seller in the area came forward, Rawlings allegedly directed Tom Taylor, executive director of the ambulance district, to reply that the district already has “a contract on (the) ground” and “won’t be needing any more” bids, Zahnd said.
Rawlings later told investigators that he was giving the district “a good deal.” He said he based the price on a real estate broker’s statement that the bank owned 3.5 acres, on the opposite side of I-29, priced at $240,000.
If Rawlings is convicted, Zahnd said, he could be sentenced to a maximum of one year in the county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.