In a rare move, Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway issued subpoenas earlier this month to obtain records from the Smithville Fire Protection District in connection to an ongoing audit.
Galloway’s office on Oct. 3 ordered Smithville Fire Protection District Chief John Callahan, along with a custodian of records for the fire district, to appear at the Missouri Auditor’s office in Kansas City on Oct. 30 to give testimony.
The subpoenas requested the following records from the Smithville Fire Protection District:
▪ Documentation to support how employee bonuses were calculated for all years between 2011 and 2015;
Never miss a local story.
▪ Documentation to support cost estimating for the construction of a third fire station;
▪ Documentation of bidding and requests for qualifications for an architect and engineering services for a third fire station.
Galloway’s office had requested these records four separate times. The Missouri auditor has subpoena power, but does not often resort to using it.
Callahan was not available for comment. Deputy chief Dave Cline referred calls to an attorney, who did not answer his phone on Thursday and whose voicemail could not accept messages.
Galloway initiated the audit May 24 after more than 1,000 Smithville residents signed a petition requesting it.
Charlie Waters, a retired Kansas City Fire Department captain who moved to Smithville in 2007, started collecting signatures for an audit petition in 2016 after he became concerned about low staffing levels at the fire district. Waters began attending fire district board meetings after he moved to the city of 9,000 residents bisected by Clay and Platte counties.
“I was not a fan of the decisions being made,” Waters said on Thursday.
On Oct. 4, the day after the subpoenas were dated, the Smithville Fire Protection District board held a special closed door meeting to discuss legal and personnel issues.