PARKVILLE, Missouri – Missouri Republicans are calling for investigations in the wake of an NBC Action News Investigation that located a Parkville Alderman at an apartment in Gladstone in the middle of a residency probe.
Bay resigned during our investigation and where his official residence is remains a mystery and controversy.
Alderman Bay is one of several Parkville officials who didn’t disclose to the public that they had a property or membership interests at The National Golf Club Development prior to approving a $50,000 land deal to beautiful the club’s entrance.
That "eyesore" bordered and marred the highly landscaped entrance to The National.
Officials also didn’t disclose that The National would be willing to make a large donation to help off-set costs related to the transaction and demolition.
While investigating this quiet land deal, the NBC Action News Investigators were tipped to other allegations involving Bay.
One tip questioned whether Alderman Jeffrey Bay actually lived in the City of Parkville.
Days after NBC Action News filed an open records request for all documents the city had on file regarding the alderman’s official residence, Bay resigned.
At the next Board of Alderman’s meeting, Thomas Hutsler announced that he’d filed an official complaint against Bay with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
"It was brought to my attention over a year and a half ago, that he did not live in the City of Parkville," Hutsler told the Board of Aldermen before Mayor Richardson ruled him out of order for not having his concerns on the agenda.
"We brought it to the attention of city officials on several occasions and they completely ignored that," said Hutsler in an interview.
Hutsler also filed a complaint against Mayor Gerry Richardson alleging the Mayor had knowledge that Bay did not qualify to be a Parkville Alderman.
Hutsler says the Missouri Ethics Commission has declined to investigate the Mayor’s knowledge of Bay’s residency.
"We deserve better than that." Hutsler said. "Shame on Jeff Bay, shame on the Mayor."
"I think Alderman Bay has performed a disservice to this community. I think that he has disrespected his constituents," Hutsler said.
How many nights was Bay in Parkville?
Bay wouldn’t say when NBC Action News asked him to estimate whether he’d spent five or more nights in the city of Parkville since leaving his original home in the National.
"I won’t estimate and I don’t care," Bay said in a telephone interview.
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According to the city’s official website, Bay’s residence is at 6109 Vardon Drive in the National, but the family who actually lives there says Bay moved out in July of 2010, when they took possession of the home.
The sale became final in August.
In response to our Missouri Sunshine Law request, the City of Parkville released a change of address form, signed by Bay August 18th, 2010 indicating Bay had moved to 6415 Augusta Place.
The five-bedroom home looking out on the National Golf Course is listed for sale on a real estate web page at a price $1.5 million.
Bay provided NBC Action News with copies of the fronts of checks he says he wrote to the owner for monthly rent payments of $500.
In a phone interview, Bay acknowledged selling his home in the National Golf Club development, but he says he continued to live in his district by renting a room from a friend at the Augusta Place address.
"A friend allowed me to use his home in The National," Bay said. "I paid him rent."
The owner of the home corroborated Bay’s story.
The owner also declined to speculate whether the Alderman actually stayed at the home more than a handful of nights.
Bay says he travels a lot and stays in a lot of different places.
NBC Action News Investigators find Parkville Alderman at Gladstone apartment
In September of last year, according to records maintained by the Platte County, Mo. Recorder’s Office,
Bay listed a Gladstone residence as his mailing address when he filed official documents regarding a real estate transaction.
Bay answered the door at the address a few days before his resignation became effective when NBC
Action News went to the Gladstone apartment complex listed as his address with Platte County officials.
We asked if we could talk to him.
"No you can’t," Bay said. When asked if this was his home, Bay said, "No."
Bay declined to say whether he lived at the apartment or how long he’d been there.
He said "I own it," and shut the door.
According to the city’s charter, aldermen must be a resident of the Parkville ward they represent.
By phone, Bay said his resignation was not related to the NBC Action News Investigation.
He says he resigned after losing hope of finding a new home in Parkville.
Tuesday night, the Platte County Elections Board will be considering whether to investigate Bay’s residency.
Elections Board Director Wendy Slanigan says if the board takes action against Bay the case would be handed over to the Platte County Sheriff’s Department to investigate.
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd has offered no opinion on the land deal or Bay’s residency.
Across the State of Missouri, there are additional questions over who the mayor will pick to replace
Alderman Bay and politically divided leaders are watching closely.
Under the Parkville charter, the mayor picks the replacement, but the choice must be affirmed by a vote of the Board of Aldermen.
Republican Lt. Governor Kinder has called on Nixon to look into the Parkville allegations, but says the Governor has not responded.
"Governor Nixon and Attorney General Koster should immediately investigate whether any laws were broken and take all necessary actions to ensure that only lawfully elected Board members are transacting public business in a transparent manner," Kinder said.