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Former Glasgow official pleads guilty, must repay city for stolen funds

Rudi Keller
rkeller@columbiatribune.com
Kevin Atwood

The former city administrator and police chief in Glasgow pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor theft as part of a plea agreement on charges filed after a state audit found thousands of dollars missing from city accounts.

Kevin Atwood must give up his state peace officer certification and repay $2,787 to the northwest Howard County community by July 16, Associate Circuit Judge James Cooksey ordered.

Atwood was charged Dec. 2 with stealing $750 or more, a class D felony punishable by two to seven years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000. In court on Thursday, Atwood pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of receiving stolen property. Sentencing is set for Aug. 27.

Atwood was Glasgow’s city administrator from May 2013 until he resigned in October 2017. He was also the chief of police from January 2004 until he left his post as administrator.

In an audit issued in September 2018, State Auditor Nicole Galloway found approximately $3,200 is missing from bulk water sales. Atwood personally collected money from a machine that dispensed bulk water from May 2013 until he resigned. While meters showed approximately $4,060 in sales, only $522 deposited in city accounts.

The audit also found Atwood directed city staff to pay his personal credit card bills. Of the $5,500 paid by the city, nearly $4,000 of the charges were improper or personal in nature, Galloway reported. This included online purchases from Amazon and video game subscriptions. The city recouped some of the funds by withholding money from Atwood’s final paycheck, but $2,700 had yet to be repaid, Galloway reported.

In a news release Friday, Galloway said Atwood had betrayed the public.

"The citizens of Glasgow entrusted Kevin Atwood with positions of great responsibility: police chief and city administrator,“ she said. ”As my audit discovered, he betrayed that public trust for his own benefit. Corrupt officials should have no place in government in Missouri. My office will continue its work to expose them and help government work more efficiently and effectively for taxpayers."