Rep. Chad Perkins

Rep. Chad Perkins says allegations were retribution. Photo by Stan Schwartz

Rep. Chad Perkins says information was designed to embarrass him

BOWLING GREEN—A report two reporters from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch obtained from Frankford Police Chief Josh Baker alleges misconduct by Rep. Chad Perkins, R-40th, when he was still a police officer in Bowling Green.

Perkins, who was elected last year to the Missouri House, told the Post-Dispatch reporters, Kurt Erickson and Jack Suntrup, that Baker’s report was “solely designed to embarrass me.”

He believes Baker initiated the report because he did not publicly endorse Baker’s wife, Kristen Baker, in her bid for the Pike County assessor’s seat during the run up to the 2020 Republican primary, where she faced off against Tracy Foster. Foster would go on and defeat Democratic incumbent, Donna Prior, for the county assessor’s seat.

The report alleges that Perkins had abused his authority as a police officer, the story by the Post-Dispatch noted, in his dealings with the person in question.

Pike County Sheriff Stephen Korte said he was shown several pages of what was supposed to be messages between Perkins and another person by a detective who told him that he received the information anonymously in his mailbox.

Korte said, “It was about being in a relationship of some sort.” Because there was no original source for the pages he received, Korte’s department could not verify the information on them.

Korte added that he did speak with Perkins at the time, and was told by Perkins that he was in a consensual relationship with the woman in the text messages. Korte looked at the dates on the texts and noted the woman had actually just turned 20-years old and was not a teen as some media outlets were reporting.

“He and the woman had gone out a couple of times,” Korte said.

The Post-Dispatch wrote that when Perkins was working for Korte as a deputy sheriff, documents they uncovered allege Korte tried to block an investigation into Perkins.

Korte said none of that is true.

“If someone reports a crime, we investigate,” he said. “There were a lot of assumptions here,” he noted. “But no crime had taken place.”

Perkins told the Post-Dispatch reporters that, “Nothing ever happened while I was on duty.”

The allegations that Perkins took advantage of an intoxicated teen were misconstrued. Korte said that an intoxicated young woman had reported a domestic disturbance.

“She was underage and she was intoxicated,” Korte said, but she was the caller. And his department does not arrest someone who calls for help, even if there was underage drinking going on. This is similar to departments that won’t arrest people who call in drug overdoses even if there is evidence of illegal drugs at the scene.

If someone is in trouble, Korte said, he wants him or her to call the police for help, and not have to worry about being arrested.

“She was the caller and was having problems with another person,” he said. “It was some type of domestic situation.” The woman’s name was redacted to protect her identity. Korte said it was handled by Bowling Green City Police, so he did not have the report.

“We’ve gone to other domestic assault situations where we’ve come across marijuana,” Korte said. “We note it in our report, and confiscated it, but we’re not going to bring a domestic assault victim up on marijuana charges.”

Kristen Baker had also filed a suit against Pike County, alleging irregularities with how the ballots were handled during the Aug. 4, 2020, primary election when she ran against Foster. She dropped that suit just before the hearing was to take place.

Perkins told the Post-Dispatch reporters that, “That there was no victim. There’s nothing to that. It was just political sour grapes because I wouldn’t help his wife out.”

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