Mayor behind speed cameras resigns amid theft allegations - KMOV.com

Mayor behind speed cameras resigns amid theft allegations

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) -- The mayor behind the old speed cameras on I-170 suddenly resigns, amid allegations of theft.

Jim Beekman was mayor of Charlack from 2003 until Friday night. I asked the now-former mayor is he resigned because of the theft allegations.

"Oh absolutely not, absolutely not," Beekman said. "The allegations brought onto me from Alderman Brun are false -- every single one of them."

Beekman thinks the allegations all boil down to bad blood between him and an alderman that he wants impeached. Beekman says the biggest reason to bow out now is for his health. I got a copy of his resignation letter, which cites too many political differences with the rest of board and City Administrator Tony Umbertino, who also doubles as police chief.

Earlier this year, Alderman Chris Brun went to police with allegations that Beekman had stolen city funds for the past three years. Part of the on-going investigation revolves around a board-authorized credit card with a $1,000 no-questions-asked expense account. Beekman says those expenses are open to anyone and that he has nothing to hide, but it has neighbors wondering why Beekman abruptly moved out of his Charlack home.

"It sounds quite fishy that you're under investigation and you resign, move out under the cover of night. What's behind it?" I asked.

"The timing of this is really bad," Beekman said. "My wife and I decided that we were going to move about six months ago. We had actually resigned from the office back in March due to health reasons, and I was trying to wait as long as I possibly could before I resigned so we could get the legislation passed that the city needed to pass to remain a viable city."

Beekman added: "I have nothing to hide, I haven't done anything to warrant any indictment or anything like that."

My calls to Brun and Umbertino went unanswered by the time this story aired and went to the web. So far no one has been named as Beekman's replacement.

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