District One Commissioner Resigns, Leaves County With Two Vacancies

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
 Benton County District 1 Commissioner Dale Estes, Jr. submitted a letter of resignation with the County on February 5 which will be effective as of February 22, 2019.     
According to Presiding Commissioner Steve Daleske, in late September/early October of 2018, the Commission received a complaint regarding allegations of misappropriation of county-owned fuel by Dale Estes, Jr.
The complaint was immediately referred to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for investigation.
The Missouri State Highway patrol performed an investigation and ultimately the matter was referred to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office as Special Prosecutor.
The resignation of Estes places the Benton County Commission in a precarious position since if Governor Mike Parsons does not approve Scott Harms as the North Side Commissioner, then by Friday at 4:30 Presiding Commissioner Steve Daleske will be the only sitting commissioner.
“It is a problem since there must be at least two commissioners to conduct a meeting,” said Daleske.  “I have been in contact with the governor’s office and someone should be appointed this week as the North Commissioner, but so far that hasn’t happened.  By myself I wouldn’t be able to approve or pay any bills for the county.”
Estes plans to pay restitution in the amount of $717.50 to the County.
Estes was elected as the District 1 County Commissioner in November of 2016. Estes has lived in Benton County for 58 years.       Estes started working for the Benton County Road District in 1978 and worked there until 2010 when he developed health problems.  After a kidney transplant, Estes returned to his job part time.
“I am resigning at the end of the week,” said Estes.  “I have enjoyed working for Benton County. I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to do, but then it is hard to finish everything you set out to do.”
Any further questions should be referred to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.