By Stephanie Edwards
Tribune Reporter

The arrest of a local man on felony fraud and stealing charges has raised questions about the man’s contributions to local causes, and whether he used stolen funds for those contributions.

According to court records, Steven M. Lathrop was arrested and charged with seven felony counts.

According to a probable cause statement from the Lee’s Summit Police Department, the charges relate to the unauthorized use of company credit cards and checking accounts from his former employer, Master File Legal Support Service. Lathrop had worked for the company for approximately four years.

Records from the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) show that Lathrop made multiple contributions to the group, Lee’s Summit Citizens for Responsible Government, a political action committee (PAC). The group was active in recall efforts against former City Councilmember Chris Moreno.

According to records filed with the MEC, Lathrop contributed $150 to Lee’s Summit Citizens for Responsible Government on January 4, 2017, $500 on February 8, 2017, $220 on March 7, 2017, and $100 on April 10, 2017. Records show Lathrop contributed $500 in 2016.

On May 30, 2017, Lathrop also contributed $100 to the re-election campaign of current City Councilmember Trish Carlyle according to records from the MEC.

The Tribune reached out to Councilmember Carlyle for comment. She responded by declining to comment on Lathrop’s arrest, but reassured the Tribune that “My focus, as it always has been, is to serve my city and my constituency.”