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Paul's Attorneys Say Judge Should Postpone Impeachment Because Charter is Unconstitutional

The attorneys also say the council has jurisdictional issues as they will testify against and sit in judgment of Paul. Judge Robert S. Cohen will give a ruling by noon Friday.

Attorneys for Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul asked the St. Louis County Circuit Court to stop Monday’s impeachment hearing because the Ellisville city charter is unconstitutional.

Attorney Lynette Petruska said the charter is so overbroad and vague that one of the charges against Paul is that he asked a city employee for letterhead.

The Ellisville city council has a hearing scheduled at 6 p.m. Monday at Ellisville Elementary School.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Robert S. Cohen said he would have a ruling by noon Friday.

Keith Cheung, an attorney representing the city of Ellisville, said there are serious charges at stake. He also said the court has no legal standing to interfere with the council’s actions.

“They’re asking the court to step in and stop the procedure before it happens,” said John Maupin, another attorney representing the city. “But if the mayor’s impeached, they have a legal appeal (to the St. Louis County Circuit Court). There’s no irreparable harm.”

Cohen said it could depend on what happens at the impeachment hearing.

“Though he may be charged with things that you say may be so trivial as to be absurd, let’s say the things they find him guilty of actually are supportable, something a reasonable person would find objectionable, then I don’t know that you’re correct,” Cohen said.

If there is an impeachment hearing Monday, Paul’s attorney Chet Pleban said the outcome is already predetermined.

“I don’t care what the evidence is on Monday, this council will remove him from office,” Pleban said after Monday.

Pleban said some council members themselves will testify against Paul, but then will sit in judgment of the Ellisville mayor.

“They have a remedy. One day later, a new city council will be elected and an impartial body can sit in judgment of Adam Paul,” Pleban said.

Paul’s attorneys filed the motion asking the courts to block Monday’s impeachment hearing. The impeachment hearing would be one day before city council elections that could potentially alter the makeup of the council.

Paul claimed council members and city attorney Paul Martin had been looking for reasons to remove him from office because he actively opposes tax increment financing for Walmart.

Paul’s attorney Chet Pleban said documents and e-mails between city attorney Paul Martin and former mayor and city council member Matt Pirello show that they actively sought city charter violations to bring against Paul for an impeachment case.

According to Pleban, the e-mails even document that Martin and Pirello sought someone outside the city council to bring accusations

Pirello denied that he and Martin conspired to impeach Paul.

“This has been an ongoing problem for quite some time,” Pirello told Patch. “I have had several conversations about what should be done and how to handle this. There’s nothing surprising about that. It’s not some grand conspiracy.”

For more information on the Ellisville mayor impeachment hearings, see the following articles:

  • Suspended Ellisville Mayor Says Impeachment Was "Orchestrated"
  • Councilman Denies Any 'Conspiracy' in Case Against Ellisville Mayor
  • Attorney for Ellisville Mayor Says Emails Undermine Impeachment Case
  • Ellisville Residents Picket on Manchester Road to 'Support Mayor Paul'
Mike K March 29, 2013 at 01:32 AM
Tick tock. 30 days is all the city has to make its case and hold the hearing. I don't know about your calendar, but mine says that Feb 27 was more than 30 days ago.
Joe Scott March 29, 2013 at 02:08 AM
During today's hearing, Keith Cheung said the council's deadline is April 3, however he said he didn't know if the hearing might take more than one day.
Mike K March 29, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Why would Keith Cheung know or be the authority on that? The thirty day clock starts when Mayor Paul submitted his written request for a hearing. That is what the Charter says. I would assume Mr Pleban has the record of receipt including the date/time from when he delivered his client's written denial of the allegations and request for a hearing as the Charter required. Mr. Cheung is the prosecutor in this case, remember. I would be more inclined to believe the other lawyer hired to oversee the proceedings than Mr 'Convict this guy, I'll tell you later' Cheung.
Mike K March 29, 2013 at 06:35 AM
Hey, at least we're not the only local city making national headlines.... O'Fallon has its own derp derp moment in the limelight. http://m.dailykos.com/stories/1197645
E. Schmidt March 29, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Both of these attorneys arguing on behalf of the City are also involved in the hearing. Cheung is presenting the charges. Maupin is hearing officer....So why are BOTH arguing on behalf of the City? There isn't one impartial attorney hired by the City in this Kangaroo Court. And we know Cheung (from Martin's old law firm) has a penchant for causing mistrials. >>>Keith Cheung, an attorney representing the city of Ellisville, said there are serious charges at stake. He also said the court has no legal standing to interfere with the council’s actions. “They’re asking the court to step in and stop the procedure before it happens,” said John Maupin, another attorney representing the city. “But if the mayor’s impeached, they have a legal appeal (to the St. Louis County Circuit Court). There’s no irreparable harm.”<<< The irreparable harm is that we have to sit through this bad excuse for political Kabuki theater at all which only reinforces the opinion that there is no justice in "Sansoneville."
Dan Duffy March 29, 2013 at 11:42 AM
conspiracy [kənˈspɪrəsɪ] n pl -cies 1. a secret plan or agreement to carry out an illegal or harmful act, esp with political motivation; plot 2. the act of making such plans in secret ------------------------------------------------- It seems clear from the e-mail trail that the city attorney and at least one council member have conspired to remove the mayor from office beginning shortly after his election. This happened even though a part of the city attorney's responsibility was to defend the mayor. The public has a responsibility to oppose this type of activity regardless of political leanings. This is not a Wal-Mart or TIF issue. This is an issue of whether or not Ellisville residents will allow their elected and appointed officials to secretly and arbitrarily conspire to remove other elected officials.
E. Schmidt March 29, 2013 at 11:54 AM
I certainly hope Judge Cohen realizes just how rigged this process is. Not one attorney standing to the side even feigning "impartiality." A City Council that will act as witnesses, judge, jury and executioner. A City Attorney (Martin) who has been keeping a list of "transgression" on the part of the Mayor and failed to provide a timely legal orientation to the new Mayor who was in fact his "client." A City Attorney who colluded with a Council Member (Pirrello) and wrote a citizen's complaint himself and "shopped" it to a citizen. A City Attorney who when he realized that when a mere citizen's complaint wouldn't work because the Mayor got a lawyer (rather than resign,) authored a motion for a Preliminary Resolution to Remove the Mayor himself and had it read by Michelle Murray. A City Attorney who then authored both an eleven and twelve page Preliminary Resolution full of defamatory charges and which was so poorly written that it had to be pared back to nine pages because many of the charges weren't cause for removal. A City Attorney who is so reckless that he included non-removable "drinking on the job charges" and after he was told to delete them, continued to insist to the press that he had "evidence." And there's more...
E. Schmidt March 29, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Thanks for hanging in there and reporting this.
E. Schmidt March 29, 2013 at 01:01 PM
A City Attorney who apparently played the majority of the City Council (minus Pirrello) for fools and patsies as some of them didn’t even see the first completed Preliminary Resolution until the night it was shoved in front of them before the beginning of a meeting. With the exception of Linda Reel, they all got taken for a ride (and willing jumped in the clown car.) A City Attorney who…wait for it…waived attorney client privilege in the Michelle Murray Motion…and now the Council members’ emails can be aired in public like so much dirty laundry. A City Attorney who was the first guy in the door for depositions by the Mayor’s legal team and apparently “rolled-over” on some of the City Council members and a citizen involved in this mess. A City Attorney who thinks “sniffing things” picked-up off the floor? and out of trash cans? is “evidence ?“ A City Attorney who will be a witness in this Kangaroo Court. And there's more...
James S. Copeland, DC March 29, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Ellisville is one of the more screwed up cities in West County, or at least it appears to be so. Why is this? Why does it stand out in contrast to it's neighbors so much?
Caffeinated March 29, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Just lucky, I guess.
Terri Morrison March 29, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Voter apathy may be the short answer to this question. Per the 2010 census, Ellisville had 9133 residents. In the 2012 election, the city had only 6514 registered voters. Of those registered voters, only 1661 voters cast ballots. 44% of the 1661 voters selected Adam Paul as their mayor. The number of votes he received was more than twice the number of the votes for the next two candidates, but the total votes he received was only 708. Mayor Paul was elected with only 11% of the total registered voters and 7.75% of the residents of the city. Here's where it gets tricky and open to interpretation. The 2012 voters believed they had sent a strong message (44%!) that they were dissatisfied with the decisions of the city council. However, the city council appears to have interpreted the election results as only 7.75% of the residents were dissatisfied with their decisions. As I suspect the council will tell you, they represent 'all' the Ellisville residents not just voters. The city council misjudged the passion of the actual residents who cared enough to register and vote. The mayor may not have understood how firmly the council was committed to the 92.25% of the voters that did not register to vote and/or cast their ballot for him. So here we are...the 2012 voters are defending their duly elected mayor. The city council is impeaching the mayor for the 92.25% of voters that don't vote or didn't vote for the mayor.
Mike K March 29, 2013 at 04:46 PM
But your forget - the mayor is the ONLY council member that can claim to represent 'all' of the residents. He *IS* the at-large member of the council. The others only represent their districts, and I doubt you will see significantly higher percentages of voters voting for Anglin, Murray, Perrillo, Pieper, Cruze, or Acup in their respective elections to the council. So please compare apples to apples when you draw conclusions from your facts.
E. Schmidt March 29, 2013 at 05:14 PM
There are only about 250-500 total votes cast in any one district for any given council election in any given election cycle. Factors include: I Incumbent running with or without opposition, candidate running with or without opposition. Re: Mayoral election year, mayoral incumbent running with or without opposition, mayoral candidate with or without opposition. What other items on the ballot no doubt play a role in bring people out. And then there's the weather.
kathy March 29, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Mike K - Who is Cruze? Is that your nickmame for Linda Reel? By the way, how did the judgement on the hearing yesterday work out for you?
Caffeinated March 29, 2013 at 05:42 PM
>>"Is that your nickmame for Linda Reel?" No, that's "Maverick." >>"By the way, how did the judgement on the hearing yesterday work out for you?" Randomly taunting people? Really?
CSloan March 29, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Terri, I agree that voter apathy is problematic. However, I don't agree that the numbers above are *that* open to interpretation. Many would say that those who don't vote forfeit their right to an opinion, but I'd agree with you that their interests should be represented even if they've chosen to blow off the process. However, I think it goes without saying that the voices of those who actually do register and take the time to vote carry far more weight than the voices of those who've shown indifference. This council has acted in direct opposition to the wishes of those who did vote, and there really is no interpretation I can imagine (unless they each have hundreds of emails that begin with 'I didn't actually vote, but I desperately want this Walmart and the TIF that goes with it') where it makes sense to fill in the blanks this way regarding the wishes of the 92%.
Dan Duffy March 29, 2013 at 08:43 PM
He is the elected mayor of Ellisville. Period. Like him or not, he deserves the same sort of protection and counsel that the city attorney gives to the rest of the council. Instead of doing the job he was hired for, the city attorney began to plot the removal of the mayor almost from day one. Who is the problem here?
E. Schmidt March 29, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Someone accused of a actual crime (as opposed to asking for stationary) would be entitled to more due process under the law than our duly elected Mayor is going to get on April Fool's Day. This is one sad state of affairs.
Mike K March 30, 2013 at 12:48 AM
I meant Acup. As in Rose Acup. Stupid mobile phone spell-helper to blame there. And my nickname for Ms. Reel is 'the smartest district council member', since the had the intelligence to avoid this like stink on s-it. More stupidity is up on Wed at the meeting where we taxpayers are hiring tweedle dee and tweedle dum for $200/hour each - that's $8,000 a week for Maupin and Cheung to cover the council and Martin's sitting end in the aftermath of Monday's hearing. It's looking like the Council is all in on a taxpayer funded full employment program for Paul Martin and his friends to cover for Martin's incompetent advice to the Council and Matt perrillo to proceed with this defacatory act on the Charter and the people of Allisville.
Mike K March 30, 2013 at 12:51 AM
S/Allisville/Ellisville/. Spell helper not so gooder. Must be the Bobby Kerr version I have.
E. Schmidt March 30, 2013 at 07:53 PM
BIG MIKE, The correct spelling of Ellisville is...S-A-N-S-O-N-E-V-I-L-L-E
OH MY GOD March 31, 2013 at 02:40 AM
Go to SupportMayorPaul.com and read pg 16 of 'emails #2' between Pirrello and Martin. Did they really have discussion in an attempt to impeach Mayor Paul for giving $500 of his own money to a widow, fixed income seniors, and a divorced neighbor to assist with the legal bills from the lawsuit that Matt Pirrello filed against the residents to block them from getting recalled. I just threw up in my mouth. The Mayor said the really good emails are not being released at this time. I wonder what they got. This was prefabricated.

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