(Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Mark Steyer).
A Chevy Silverado bearing the name "Madison County Transit" was spotted in the parking lot of a Branson entertainment venue over the weekend, and prompted a local family vacationing there to ask for an explanation.
Photos of the vehicle taken by the family were posted to a discussion board of a Granite City-based web page. According to the post, the family, who wishes to remain anonymous, indicated that the MCT Silverado was parked right next to it at Grand County, a music venue and resort featuring an indoor water park.
Managing director for MCT Jerry Kane said the vehicle is one of two owned by the Agency for Community Transit - the operating side of MCT - and issued for limited personal use.
He said that one of the two personal use vehicles is issued to him. The Silverado is issued to MCT director of engineering Mark Steyer.
Kane explained that per IRS guidelines, use of those two vehicles is allowed for limited personal use.
However, he said that "poor judgment" was used in taking the Silverado to Branson.
"That will be dealt with when Mark returns," Kane said.
Kane added that the MCT owns 246 vehicles and none of those can be taken home.
Steyer issued the following statement today:
"This past weekend I drove an Agency for Community Transit (ACT)-owned vehicle to Branson, Mo., for a weekend vacation," he wrote. "This vehicle is one of just two vehicles ownd by ACT. I recognize that although I am allowed limited personal use of the vehicle, driving to Branson exceeds what a reasonable person would consider 'limited personal use.' For that I am sorry. I hate to think that my years of service to this agency have been tarnished by this one mistake. Since ACT operates service for Madison County Transit (MCT), the vehicle is branded with an MCT logo. Therefore, it's understandable that residents would be concerned, But, MCT does not own this vehicle, it is owned by ACT. I pay taxes on all personal use.
"MCT owns 246 vehicles and all of them are used exclusively for the operation of MCT services. All of MCT's vehicles return to the base operations every night.
"Many people also mistakeny believe that MCT is part of Madison County government, but it is not. MCT is a separate unit of government, whose boundaries are not co-terminus with those of Madison County.
"Having stated all of that, I regret that my actions have reflected poorly on ACT, MCT and on Madison County government, all of which are organizations that have a fine reputation for providing services in an affordable and efficient manner.
"Again, I regret this lapse in judgment and will not make the same mistake in the future."