Hearne: Colorful Ex Mayor Charlie Wheeler in Deep Doo-Doo

190px-Portrait_of_Dr._Charles_B._WheelerRemember that wive’s tale about bad things coming in threes?

Let’s do an audit…there’s Walt Bodine dying,Β the KC Strip trolley going bye-bye, (don’t think I’ve forgotten about the letting you guys in on the racist situation that lead to the Strip’s getting its ticket punched by the Power & Light District) and today’s news about former KC mayor Charles Wheeler and his wife getting bounced from their $600,000-plus mansion for being two years behind on their (reverse) mortgage payments.

Make no mistake, it’s a sad day for Kansas City when political boss and real estate magnate Jim Nutter Sr. has to pull the plug on a former mayor for being what almost appears as destitute.

Kansas-Citian-of-the-Year-AwardAnd kudos to Nutter for putting up with two years of having to pay Wheeler’s taxes for him.Β  It’s abundantly clear that Nutter more than bent over backwards to be kind to Wheeler and to try and allow him to save face at a time when he’s clearly down on his luck.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine who might ride to Wheeler’s rescue now.

Short of a grassroots campaign lead by ??? to raise enough money to keep Wheeler afloat, the future does not look bright for the 86 year-old KC icon.

He’s one of Kansas city’s most colorful and powerful people ever.

Make that once powerful, but still colorful. I mean, think about it.

large_marinelli_bearThere was the time Wheeler wrestled a bear when he was mayor. Wrestled a bear. It wasn’t a life or death clash – more like the WWE – but the very fact that he did it speaks volumes as to what a character the former mayor was. Not to mention an odd duck.

And come to think of it, maybe the state of Wheeler’s fiances explains his continually running for office well into his 70s and now 80s.

“What could possibly be the impetus for Wheeler, already a doctor, lawyer and stockbroker, wanting to re-enter local politics?” I asked in 2000 after Wheeler announced that he would run at age 75 for Harry Wiggins Missouri State Senate seat.

For crying out loud, the MD had only just passed his Series 7 stock jock exam a year before.

Wheeler’s rep as one of the town’s most colorful characters was driven home years ago by former Pembroke Hill instructor Ralph Wedin.

“I had him as a first-grader in physical-ed,” Wedin told me. “I brought the boys back to their teacher once, when I noticed a loose ball on the playground. ”

When Wedin asked Wheeler to get the ball, the 6-year-old refused. Again Wedin asked, and again Wheeler refused.

“He put his handArms-Akimbo-cover-smalls akimbo, looked at me and said, `I won’t do it. I stand on my constitutional rights,’ ” Wedin recalled. “He was just as stubborn as a mule…just like when he was the mayor of Kansas City. ”

That old mule sure could use a helping hand…



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23 Responses to Hearne: Colorful Ex Mayor Charlie Wheeler in Deep Doo-Doo

  1. tiad says:

    Kay Barnes, et al., must be completely ashamed of an ex-mayor who couldn’t even squirrel away enough graft money to keep his homestead afloat.

  2. smartman says:

    When you have a reverse mortgage you don’t make payments but you do have to pay the property taxes and insurance. Therein lies the problem.

    Word is Charlie and his wife are moving to smaller single story digs in the future. His reverse mortgage “allegedly” was not for the full value of the house so he should get some cash back when they move out and it sells.

    Still, hard to imagine someone of his stature not planning for old age between savings and properly sheltering assets.

    Between Medicare and their AARP supplement my parents hardly pay dick when they have medical problems. Hell, add in my dad’s VA benefits and it’s like he gets paid when he gets sick.

    Sorry Charlie doesn’t look like you’re good enough to be StarKist!

    • admin says:

      Don’t forget he and his wife’s Social Security and possibly whatever pensions from his years of political service. He’s up the creek to the tune of around $40,000 on back insurance and taxes owed.

      Tough situation when you’re 86 and your wife has serious health issues.

  3. smartman says:

    But even when sh*t hits the fan with an elderly couple and one of them requires nursing home care.

    If you don’t have Long Term Care coverage Medicaid picks up the tab after you spend down your assets to $20K or $30K. The healthy spouse gets to keep the house.

    Now it can get nasty if you don’t have supplemental insurance but again hard to believe Charlie failed to plan. And to your point I have to believe they have at least $4,000.00 coming in per month between pension(s) and Social Security.

    Seems more like he’s just trying to get in Jim Nutter’s knickers one more time for old times sake.

    • admin says:


      Except Nutter is no fool. For him to carry Charlie for two years and be out 40 grand, he had to believe Wheeler was up you-know-what creek

  4. CG says:

    I like Charlie and his family. This is awful, I hope he gets a helping hand. Charlie is pretty old to be put in this spot. He did a nice job being a cheerleader for this town, I think we owe the guy. Nutter should help him, like he needs the money. Two months late, come on…Jim will live.

    • Interesting Fact says:

      Well here is your chance Glazer to really do something good, write a check for 20k, hell make it 40k you being so rich and all and help out someone you really like. I mean you just said “we owe the guy”, so am guessing by saying “we” you mean the Glazer Family . I am sure Charlie and his wife would be very thankful for your kindness and money in their time of need.

      • CG says:

        Not a horrible idea.

        • CG says:

          Yes a fundraiser is in order, if the above is really going to happen.

          • CG says:

            I will speak to Hearne and others, his family and see what the situation is and how we can help, that makes sense.

        • chuck says:

          Total Bullsh*t!!

          I am almost as old as Charlie and will gladly wrestle a bear for check from Glaze.


          Seriously, I loved Wheeler, what a hoot!

          Remember when he went to court to make Channel 5 take the tower at 31st and Main with them when they moved over to Shawnee Mission Pkwy?

          I heard him on the radio or tv, deadpan as hell saying the Tower “Had to go!”


    • admin says:

      Two YEARS late, not two months late, wild man.

  5. Interesting Fact says:

    No, No, No, for once lets see “YOU” Craig Glazer do it all on your own. Get that check book out and fill in the blanks. You’re always going on about how much you do for Kansas City so now here is your chance to prove “YOU” alone hands over a check five figures worth to help someone who “YOU” said needs a helping hand. Be sure you have a picture of it with Charlie holding an issue of that days KC Star or your new buddy Tony handing the check over.

    • CG says:

      Hey asshole jackoff, I’ve done plenty for many punk, what have you ever done, at least I give a crap about the person, you think its a joke…don’t address me anymore ok. Whoever you are I don’t like you much, happy. Now go find a little rat to eat for dinner later with your old lady.

      • chuck says:

        Godd*mn that was funny!

        I quit laughing picturing Glazer sayin that sh*t right after he tells the guy to get the f*ck outta his front yard.


      • Lotus says:

        “Done plenty for many punk?” gee with that kinda help who needs a hand huh!! Plenty of looking down the nose there at the “punk” of society. Let me guess around Xmas you drop a few bucks in the can’s down on 169 and Broadway may be over on front street. In the Salvation Army kettle at the Wal-Mart. You go Bill Gates !!

  6. chuck says:

    Still laughing, sorry—“can’t QUIT laughing”


  7. chuck says:


  8. Interesting Fact says:

    No I am very serious and not joking at all. I knew you would not be man enough to practice what you preach and would start looking for a way to get out of it. Same ole Craig with the name calling, a real big man in KC are we? You said and I quote ” I think we owe the guy.” So stop being all hateful and do just that.

  9. Lotus says:

    Sounds like a good idea.. that’s probably only 2 years lease on the Lotus. Worth it for a pillar of the community. One I hear put the screws the fire fighters back in the day. Wasn’t around for it but judging by the “gimmicks” and failed fiscal planning in his personal life I would say the stories probably have more truth than fiction.

  10. RangerDanger says:

    Maybe Glaze could do a book signing of his now 99 cent masterpiece, soon to be on the bigscreen! and bring some of those fictional characters, like the NAVY sniper (the only snipers the Navy ever had were SEALs) to town for a show-and-tell symposium. The proceeds could go to Wheeler’s needs.

    • CG says:

      Piece of dog scoop, Woodbeck was in the Navy, NOT WJOYT…he was not in Don’s patrol. The story is a matter of military record, hateful jealous guy, Woodbeck was decorated when Jim Wjoyt should have been. Jim did get a purple heart. Wow you went deep on that one. I’m sure you loved the book, right, hard not too huh. THE KING OF STING. To clue you in as books age, they all do, prices for used books drops. The hardcover new is still 24.95 and the paperback I think is still 14.95, kindle varies from .99 cents to 9 bucks pending on Amazon. Book is still on there with nice reviews and promotions after 4 years, not bad, huh. P.S. it is still in Barnes and Noble in most stores, saw it on the plaza a few weeks ago. I hadn’t checked in two years. When the film comes out there will be a run on the book cause more people on the planet will have heard about it…just how it works.

      Thanks for asking I see you are A BIG FAN, good job.

      P.S. as book explained Woodbeck was placed on patrol as punishment, he joined a marine unit, patrol that day, Jim was not in their patrol, he happened to be in the area.

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