The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Member Accused Of Financial Misdealing
by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher
A ruckus occurred at the Gladstone Board meeting Monday evening fostered from a board member's accusation of financial misdealing by another board member.
Board member Robert Swanson, who was on the agenda for Finances at the Community Building said:
"Contrary to what some people think, I didn't know anything about this, but it has been brought up and it has been discussed with the attorneys that we have a problem with finances in the community building.
"Some finances have not been turned in."
"We have been informed by the attorney that we have to handle this. Some has been turned in, in the form of checks, but the cash has not."
Junior "Willie" Bielser, who has been in charge of the rental and use of the Gladstone Community building for some time, reportedly since Verna Pullen passed away in 1993, was being accused.
According to Swanson's report, Gladstone Treasurer (Patty Wood) has not received any cash over the years that Bielser's been in charge, only checks.
Bielser began name calling, using profanity, and made some personal remarks about Swanson being "the stork who stood around all day."
Swanson said, "you aren't even funny," and Bielser said he was a lucky son of a - and I'm going to kick your - - -."
Swanson questioned, "With what?....with what?" And Bielser stood up, grabbed one of "Swanie's" crutches from the table hitting Darlene Manes in the jaw in the process, then held it up as if to hit Swanson.
Mayor Pro Tem Jim Hetrick, jumped up and said, "Calm down, calm down, ...My goodness!."
Bielser and Swanson exchanged more words.
Then Swanson continued: "The attorney told us to handle this. I'm going to give you a choice......"
Bielser butt in: "I'm NOT going to resign!"
Swanson continued, "You are either going to resign from the board, or face prosecution."
"I'm NOT going to resign from the board," Bielser said.
"....I'll face it! You better have some proof, Jack!"
"We knew what we were doing before we said this," Swanson said.
Then Swanson, one at a time, asked each board member if they were in agreement, and board members each indicated that they were.
"Then it's settled," Swanson said, saying they will be talking to their village attorney Mike Neff and to the States Attorney Ray Cavanaugh.
He told Bielser, "We are not shooting in the dark. We are doing what has to be done."
Later in the meeting, Bielser turned the key over, saying he was no longer going to be in charge of the community building or the park for its rental.
The community building is rented for $50 with $25 returned after every thing is found clean and in good shape.
-photo by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher
The newly elected Gladstone Board members, Mike Hopkins and Byron Sebastian (far right), took office in May.
Gladstone board members pictured at the close of Monday night's meeting are from left: Jim Hetrick, Robert "Swanie" Swanson, Clerk-Joyce Hetrick (seated), Darlene Manes, Junior "Willie" Bielser, Byron Sebastian and Mike Hopkins.
(Rex McKinney, Gladstone Mayor, was absent from the meeting).
The rest of the board meeting will continue in next week's Quill.