Update: Ellisville Mayor Responds to Impeachment Suggestion
A resident filed a request this week to bring Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul under review of the Charter Enforcement Commission for allegedly violating the City Charter.
Updated: Feb. 12 at 10:05 a.m.
A resident of the City of Ellisville filed a request to invoke the Charter Enforcement Commission, claiming Mayor Adam Paul violated the City Charter.
Katie James, a former Ellisville City Council member and board member of the TIF commission that reviewed a Walmart development in the city, formally filed the notice Monday. James said in her letter to the city that Paul violated the charter specifically on two occasions in which James claims Paul ordered a police officer in each incident to remove a meeting attendee from the premises. James was asked to be removed on one occasion.
James said that by doing so, Paul violated Section 3.4(c) of the city charter that reads: "Neither the Mayor nor Council Members shall give any orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately."
James's letter listed the incidents as follows:
1. After meeting of the City Council occurring in early May, 2012 at the Ellisville Elementary auditorium, Mayor Paul ordered Ellisville Police Officer Kelly Murray to remove me from the Ellisville Elementary auditorium, even though the meeting was over. This can be verified by Officer Murray.
2. On February 6, 2013 Mayor Paul, during a public meeting of the City Council, ordered Chief Tom Felgate to remove a member of the public from the meeting. This can be verified by Chief Felgate, everyone present at the meeting, and the recording of the meeting.
The Charter Enforcement Commission will be comprised of three council members, Dawn Anglin, Michelle Murray and Linda Reel. City Clerk Catherine Demeter's formal notice to Paul said Paul has seven days to submit information regarding the incidents to the commission.
Paul described the events from his perspective in an email:
Katie James claimed that on two separate occasions I violated a provision of our charter by directly asking a police officer to preserve the peace and ask them to remove an insulting, threatening, and/or very much warned member of the public from a meeting to prevent further disruption. The first incident directly involving her actually took place the first day I was sworn into office in April. Katie James has made several false claims under oath by stating the incident took place in early May 2012. The only encounter I had with Katie James is my first meeting in office in mid April. The same day I was sworn into office. She rapidly approached the bench immediately following a highly contentious Ellisville Elementary council meeting regarding Walmart. She pointed her finger 4 inches from my face and started to yell at me. This is a meeting that required several additional policemen, held off site from city hall, had metal detectors at every door, and 250 upset members of the public. When she approached me she had a large bag and a device in her hand. I asked her to stop yelling and told her to show a little respect and informed her that I felt threatened. She continued so I summoned a police officer to remove Katie James from the stage. Katie James claims that I should have asked the City Manager to then instruct the police officer at the meeting to remove a person.The city manager was not present at the time and no 'panic' button was at our temporary location. Regarding the second incident, Katie James is claiming I gave 'an order' to police was just last week on the wake of the 5 year anniversary of the Kirkwood Council shootings. Katie James was not present at the meeting but thinks I should be impeached for asking our police force to protect and assist in maintaining order in our chamber.
Why this and why now? I find it odd that a Walmart TIF committee member is filing these accusations 10 months after one of the alleged incidents supposedly took place, at a time the city just issued an RFP that will consider development options requesting more TIF funds to be used for RPA2, and just before a critical election. It doesn't pass the 'smell test' for me.
Patch is tracking this story as it develops.