CHILLICOTHE, Mo.- A lengthy civil trial has come to an end today in Livingston County Circuit Court that started in late 2014 between the City of Chillicothe, former police chief Rick Knouse, and Sheriff Steve Cox of Livingston County.
In 2014, Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox had filed a lawsuit against the city of Chillicothe and Police Chief Rick Knouse stemming from a 911 call that was reportedly made on September, 18, 2014, to the emergency telephone service and handled by the police department. The person making the 911 call provided information about an incident which occurred at Plaintiff Steve Cox’s residence, and involved Plaintiff Steve Cox, alleging that he had made certain threats and taken certain actions.
The 911 call was reportedly replayed for Ken Lauhoff, a Livingston County Commissioner, Adam Warren, Livingston County Prosecuting Attorney, and possibly City of Chillicothe police officers and a Livingston County sheriff’s deputy.
Sheriff Cox claimed that there was a violation of Missouri sunshine laws and the actions by the department were done purposefully done to harm his reputation in the community and to deter people from associating or dealing with him.
According to court documents, the Court found that based upon a review, neither Police Chief Richard Knouse, nor anyone employed by or at the direction of the City of Chillicothe or the City of Chillicothe Police Department had actual knowledge that his or their conduct violated a statutory provision. No credible evidence was presented that Police Chief Richard Knouse or anyone from the City of Chillicothe or the City of Chillicothe Police Department purposely violated any section of the Missouri Sunshine Law. Also, there was insufficient facts to support a finding of slander or defamation against Sheriff Cox.
Sheriff Steve Cox was not immediately available for comment.
The honorable Daren Adkins was the presiding judge at the disposition.
To read full Judgment CLICK HERE