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
“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'