Charlack Police Chief Tony Umbertino.
By Ann Rubin
Charlack, MO (KSDK) - Political turmoil in Charlack came to a head Monday.
For the second time in as many months, a public official has been accused of using a city credit card for personal use. But is this all a case of dirty politics?
The police chief turned over some, the bank supplied the rest. But now the Charlack city attorney says these financial documents show a potential problem.
All on a city credit card: a trip to Hawaii costing hundreds of dollars, and hundreds more spent at local restaurants like The Melting Pot and Bristols.
Chief Tony Umbertino, who is also the city administrator, says there is an explanation. The the board gave him $600 to celebrate his 25 year anniversary with Charlack, and he says he has the documentation to prove it.
As for Hawaii, he says he lost his personal credit card and asked permission before using a city one. He says he paid the amount back in full.
Still, the city attorney has concerns. The office where all the documentation has been held has been locked for weeks.
"A situation where somebody just locks down an office just causes people to be skeptical as to whether or not the person who has locked down the office is to be trusted," said City Attorney Elkin Kistner.
This comes on the heels of a similar issue with the former Mayor Jim Beekman. He too is being investigated for inappropriately using his Charlack credit card. He says he was given permission.
But Umbertino feels like he is being attacked. He says he was a whistleblower on the former mayor's regime and this is retaliation. All this political infighting has left Charlack residents concerned about who to believe, and about what's really going on in city hall.
We spoke to Umbertino by phone tonight but he declined to go on camera.