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Clark County Youth Fund Comes To An End
By Mike Scott
The Clark County Youth Fund, which has donated thousands to local youth projects, has come to an end.
“It was a great idea at the time, but the rules have changed on us,” said Clark County Prosecuting Attorney John Moon.
“When someone couldn’t afford points to be assessed on their license, they paid into the Youth Fund or into Dollars For Scholars,” Moon said.
Recently, some courts have found that the practice constitutes the sale of justice.
“If (former Prosecuting Attorney Scott Summers) Scott made the deal before the first, we’re sending it through,” said Moon..
Drivers can still avoid having points assessed on their license in three ways. With the recommendation of the prosecuting attorney, and paying the regular fine, some are eligible to take an online driver improvement course. Others can opt for community service hours, and some will be able to avoid points by paying the fine plus an assessment to the Law Enforcement Fund.
How is the Law Enforcement Fund different than the Youth Fund?
“It’s authorized by state statute,” said Moon.
The Revised Statutes of Missouri Section 50.565 allow counties to establish the fund.
Money from the county law enforcement restitution fund shall only be expended for the following purposes:
(1) Narcotics investigation, prevention, and intervention;
(2) Purchase of law enforcement-related equipment and supplies for the sheriff’s office;
(3) Matching funds for federal or state law enforcement grants;
(4) Funding for the reporting of all state and federal crime statistics or information; and
(5) Any county law enforcement-related expense, including those of the prosecuting attorney, approved by the board of trustees for the
county law enforcement restitution fund that is reasonably related to investigation, charging, preparation, trial, and disposition of criminal cases before the courts of the state of Missouri.
The county commission may not reduce any law enforcement agency’s budget as a result of funds the law enforcement agency receives from the county law enforcement restitution fund. The restitution fund is to be used only as a supplement to the law enforcement agency’s funding received from other county, state, or federal funds reasonably related to investigation, charging, preparation, trial, and disposition of criminal cases before the courts of the state of Missouri.
The Fund has a five member board of citizens to oversee it.