The man who has led the Missouri State Highway Patrol since June of 2001 is stepping down from his post amid a cloud of controversy over a recent investigation his folks were part of. After 32 years with the Highway Patrol, Colonel Roger Stottlemyre is retiring as its superintendent. The annoucement comes on the heels of the revelation by the Blunt Administration that it used the patrol illegally to conduct an investigation of workplace misconduct allegations against state Agriculture Director Fred Ferrell. Stottlemyre says one has nothing to do with the other. He says his decision was made, because it was right for him and his family at this point in time. Stottlemyre says the opportunity to work for the Missouri Gaming Commission balanced against the few years he could keep working for the patrol was the major factor in his decision. The patrol mandates retirement at age 60, which Stottlemyre will reach in about three years. Stottlemyre’s retirement is effective September 1, 2006. He will leave the patrol to become the Deputy Director of Enforcement for the Missouri Gaming Commission. Though Stottlemyre acknowledges it has been discovered that the patrol cannot conduct the type of investigations it did in the Ferrell case, he sounds unconvinced that the patrol shouldn’t be doing them. He says he had assumed it was the patrol’s responsibility to do such investigations and he wonders who would do them if patrol officials don’t. Stottlemyre says it will be up to lawmakers to make any changes that will allow the patrol to do background checks in the future. The Highway Patrol continues to conduct criminal background checks, such as those use to clear teachers for the classroom.

Related web sites:
SHP Stottlemyre Retirement Announcement