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Leadership by Fear

Ambulance District in St. Charles, Missouri Accused of Corruption, Coverups, and Bullying in the Workplace

St. Charles County – Missouri. Citizens of Missouri couldn’t seem to catch a break in yet another dreadful exposé.   In an earlier press release, SCCAD (St. Charles County Ambulance District) Chief Officer Kelly Cope was seen promoting the district to attract young talents to join the EMS/ EMT/ Paramedic world.  However, in a recently surfaced video, he was seen threatening his own team, emphasizing that “I’m not a good enemy to be, I’m a dangerous individual, and I will cause harm to those that cause harm to us, so just be aware of that. If you wanna go out and do your thing and talk bad about SCCAD, it’s okay, just don’t come to cross me, coz it’ll hurt”. In light of complaints from his team citing hostile work conditions, inability to air grievances without the threat of retaliation. (ref: Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age of Discrimination Act of 1967 (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.)


St. Charles County Ambulance District created a 501 c 3 called the SCCAD Outreach. It’s purpose was to increase awareness of St. Charles County Ambulance District’s (SCCAD) presence in the community and provide opportunities for citizens to participate in meaningful educational programs such as lifesaver CPR.

In opposition, questionable activities emerged such as spending $20,000.00 for parties in Las Vegas and using funds to lobby local and state level lawmakers for influence. Violation on Conflicts of interest as per the 321 rules on Districts -  Chief Cope’s wife’s company has  multi million dollar contracts with SCADD under Telemed and Resilient. On another note, employees are asked to work overtime to assist in having his wife get elected on a school board. Assistant Chief for Administration, Dave Lewis even asks personnel to house sit for him – which is outside of their job description.  Meanwhile, Asst Chief for Operations Josh Mcgaughey uses his position to acquire vehicles from part time employees with the lie that they will be eventually absorbed as full time. As head of operations, his lack of management skills greatly affects the morale of his very own team members. Whereas Deputy Asst. Chief of Operations Brandon Jones is well, known to put blame on employees and drive co-workers to commit suicide.  Chief Kelly Cope is a bully and that is a known fact in the industry, so that’s a given, according to our source.


L-R: Josh McGaughey, Rees Remington, Dave Lewis, Beau Lewis

"I’m a dangerous individual....Don't come to cross me" - Chief Kelly Cope

Chief Kelly Cope Addressing his team.

SCADD is supposedly an advocate for mental health – As such is with their SURRT program where they have partnered with dozens of mental health agencies.  Perhaps it is time management take care of their own.


According to one of our undercover contacts, corruption in SCCAD runs deeper than its questionable financial practices for many years. It is a known secret among the districts. This encompasses disturbing sexual assault allegations from their own female team members that were made to “to go away” by IAFF 2665 officials. Who is Beau Lewis and why does IAFF let him get away with his behavior?


It is not new news that IAFF is responsible for placing its own board members. That is a fact.  This history goes way back when the firefighters and paramedics did not make as much as the other union members from the pipefitting, plumbing and electrical trade did. These trade union members supported  the fire service. Hence, many of the firefighters and paramedics are skilled traders as most of them had more than one job because the fire service did not pay enough to support a family back then.


However when the terror of 911 in 2001 happened, the tables turned and recession hit. Federal government mandated that all necessary benefits and support be provided to the Fire Service – including the medical partners.  IAFF in it’s unwavering debt of gratitude continued to place trade union members regardless of their ability and credentials to govern.  So long as they are “manageable”, they have a position in the service as a board member.  This practice, after over 20 years has obviously backfired. Fire Chiefs are being terminated, stonewalled for personnel promotions, discriminated or, are demoted as sacrificial lambs, thanks to the power given to the Board by the 321 law. Unfortunately, since pawned board members are not as competent for their posts, they are faced with a multitude of Errors and Omissions legal insurance claims,  not realizing that the same rules they hid behind by are the same rules that will apply to them during checks and balances. No one is above the law.  The law may sometimes be slow, but punishments are harsher when it hits. 


Brandon Jones_

Chief Brandon Jones drives his co-workers to commit suicide

Everything has been a play of power for both the IAFF and the Trade Unions.  SCCAD’s current Board comprises Teresa Reynolds, Mark Johnson, Sean Treece, Kenny Bierman. They do nothing for the good of the St. Charles Community or the people that serve.


In the meantime, St. Charles and it’s surrounding cities that SCCAD serves,  continue to shell out their hard earned  money to support the lifestyle of the individuals in question. Will this ever come to an end? Our resource from the Department of Justice says yes. It’s only a matter of time as the legitimate judiciary system have processes we need to adhere to. They are gathering as much information as we speak and people will be held accountable in due time.

"Leadership by fear, where leaders rule through intimidation, threats, and punishment, may seem effective in the short-term, but it ultimately leads to a dysfunctional and toxic work environment. Fear-driven leadership can create a culture of mistrust, demotivation, and disengagement among employees, leading to decreased productivity, innovation, and creativity. When employees feel threatened and afraid, they are less likely to take risks, share ideas, or collaborate with their colleagues. Moreover, fear can drive talented employees away from the organization, as they seek a healthier and more positive work environment. Ultimately, leadership by fear undermines morale, erodes trust, and stunts growth, making it an unsustainable and counterproductive leadership style."

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