Controversy continues to surround the 2011 merger of the highway patrol with the water division. A newly retired lt. Called the merger a mistake during this week’s fourth public hearing in Hollister, mo. Retired lieutenant Eldon Wulf believes at a minimum the merger was mishandled and that there may have been discrimination against former water patrol officers by members of the highway patrol. A special committee chaired by state representative Diane Franklin was formed to investigate the merger. A final public meeting is scheduled for December 4th in St. Joseph after which the committee will announce its recommendations to the Missouri house. The public meetings come on the heels of the drowning death of 20 year old Brandon Ellingson while in the custody of the highway patrol’s water division back in may.