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Crime

Sheriff: Whistleblower complaint launched Moniteau County assessor investigation

CALIFORNIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A whistleblower complaint launched an investigation that led to felony charges against the former Moniteau County assessor, the county sheriff said Friday.

Prosecutors on Thursday charged Amanda L. Trimble with three felonies and a misdemeanor on allegations that she misappropriated public funds.

Trimble was charged with forgery, felony stealing and filing false documents -- all felonies -- and fraudulent use of a credit device, a misdemeanor. A criminal summons was issued Friday for her to appear in court for a March 26 arraignment, according to court documents.

Moniteau County Sheriff Tony Wheatley said a complaint filed with the Missouri State Auditor's Office in November launched a preliminary investigation by the sheriff's office. Wheatley said his office turned over the investigation to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the case was submitted to the county prosecutor's office Thursday.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol investigator wrote in a probable cause statement that Trimble used county funds to pay for a personal trip to Texas in October. Trimble tried to pass the trip off as a software training trip but the company that provides the software said it did not offer training to Trimble at the time of the trip, according to the statement.

Trimble is accused of charging $446.20 to a county credit card for two airline tickets from Columbia to Dallas/Ft. Worth and seeking reimbursement for personal expenses of more than $200. The statement says Trimble also hid information on receipts submitted to the county to mask the purpose of the trip, which was alleged to celebrate a friend's birthday.

The patrol investigator wrote that Trimble gave varying stories about the reason for the trip when interviewed by law enforcement.

The investigation also determined Trimble made 115 fuel purchases on a county fuel card between April 2018 and October 2019 that were not logged in county records. Some purchases were made on weekends and holidays, according to the probable cause statement, and some of them were for more fuel than her assigned vehicle could hold.

Investigators also logged six other incidents in which Trimble "misrepresented county related expenses" to receive reimbursement, according to the statement.

The probable cause statement says Trimble in total spent more than $4,800 of county money on personal expenses.

No attorney for Trimble was listed in online court records.

Trimble submitted her resignation on Dec. 26 amid investigations by the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office and the state auditor's office. Moniteau County commissioners chose Bill Figgins to be acting assessor until Gov. Mike Parson can appoint a replacement.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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