From the City of Sedalia:

Judge Lett made a verbal ruling today in regard to the City of Sedalia’s litigation against the Commissioners of Pettis County, Missouri. The City was seeking a court order requiring the County Commissioners to comply with the City’s building safety and fire regulations.

While the Court stopped short of granting the general declaration that the City sought, the Court did not accept the County’s argument that it was exempt from City safety regulations. The Court found that until the City attempts to enforce its regulations and is refused, the Court cannot grant the relief sought.

Pursuant to the Courts verbal instructions, the City will begin fire and building safety inspections and fire preplanning on all county facilities. Sheriff Anders has already pledged his cooperation on the jail facilities.

Mayor Andrew Dawson stated, “We hope the Commissioners will likewise cooperate with the inspectors and make any corrections needed. We will not abandon our responsibility to protect the Citizens and visitors to Sedalia."

Missouri law is clear that cities have the right and responsibility for safety inspections, even on county property. Even the County’s legal Counsel admitted that the law is very clear that they have to follow the building safety codes. The Court in this case had previously found that the County must comply with safety regulations, but the County persuaded the Court to hold a new hearing because the County Commissioners had merely stated they were not going to follow the law and the City had not presented evidence that they have not.

We are confident that the County has violated these safety codes, the Judge was simply not satisfied that enough evidence was before her at this time.

Judge Lett also commented that there was no doubt in her mind that the Commissioners are withholding funds from Sedalia in retaliation for bringing this suit.

However, she did not feel that she had a legal basis to make a court order for the Commissioners to follow the voter’s intent with a specific amount.

The City must now wait on the written ruling and then weigh its options with Council what our next steps are.


The statement was issued at 5 p.m. Tuesday by Kelvin Shaw, with a correction sent at 7:10 p.m.

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