HIGHLANDVILLE, Mo. – Months of turmoil within the Highlandville Police Department have turned to criminal charges for two men connected to the force.
Former Police Chief Warren Hagar and suspended Officer Tracy West each face a misdemeanor charge for Purposely Violate Other Provisions Of Chapter 590 (Regarding Peace Officers).
Court documents show Hagar’s charge stems from speaking to KOLR 10 Investigates and a closed board before notifying Officer West of the allegations against him in December.
Hagar called for West’s termination for allegedly violating Highlandville police protocol and Missouri law by mishandling a domestic assault call on Nov. 16. Court records indicate a Christian County deputy found probable cause that West did in fact break the law then.
The probable cause statement claims West failed to file a report or make an arrest after the victim said she was punched in the face three times, but did not want to press charges.
Our investigative team spoke to former Chief Hagar, who wasn’t aware of the charge until we called.
Both men have court arraignments scheduled for late April.
Highlandville Mayor Clint Ellingsworth put Officer West on paid leave on Dec. 15 after KOLR 10 Investigates reported the allegations brought forth by Former HPD Chief Warren Hagar. The Christian County Sheriff’s Department began looking into the accusations against West. The next morning, Hagar’s house was destroyed in a fire while he was away on vacation.
On Jan. 5, Officer West was reinstated because the only other full-time officer was out with an injury. On Jan. 9, a state fire marshal report revealed the fire at Hagar’s home was possible set intentionally. The next day on Jan. 10, the other paid police officer resigned. The mayor then fired Chief Hagar and put West back on paid leave on Feb. 3, dissolving the police force.
Both Hagar and West were charged on Feb. 23, according to court records. KOLR 10 Investigates confirmed West remains on paid leave as of March 1. The men are expected in Christian County court on April 25 and April 26 respectively.