Update: Feb. 21 at 11:04 a.m.
City Council Member and former mayor Matt Pirrello issued the following statement this morning:
"The Mayor is innocent until proven guilty. An innocent man needs only the truth on his side. The burden is on the City to establish guilt. Please refrain from passing judgment until all of the facts are known from both sides. Please do not succumb to the rhetoric. We live in a nation of laws not popular opinion."
The Ellisville City Council on Wednesday put in motion a process to review whether Mayor Adam Paul is qualified to hold the post, two days after a charter enforcement commission declined to press a separate case against him.
Council member Michelle Murray initiated the process to have the city council review whether Paul should be removed from office in the wake of unrelated complaints that he overstepped his authority and violated the city charter.
The complaint against Paul was filed last week, claiming that the mayor violated the city charter by ordering police to remove a member of the public from meeting premises on two separate occasions, most recently at a Feb. 6 council meeting.
The charter enforcement commission, consisting of Murray and council members Dawn Anglin and Linda Reel, unanimously voted to recommend to the council to dismiss the claim on Monday night.
On Wednesday, Murray requested that City Attorney Paul Martin draft a resolution based on a provision of the city charter that allows the council to review the qualifications of any of its members, including the mayor.
Reel was the only member of the council to vote against the motion.
Murray's motion read:
"I move that the city attorney prepare a preliminary resolution for the removal of the mayor under Section 3.6 of the city charter and that the city council and staff including the city attorney be authorized and be directed to cooperate in the preparation of the resolution, constraints of the Sunshine Law notwithstanding, and to waive any privileged attorney-client communications related to the contents of the preliminary resolution."
Paul referred questions about the turn of events to his lawyer, who could not be reached Wednesday night.
"There have been a number of instances where the judgment and actions of the mayor have been called into question," Martin said. "The council, I believe, wants to explore whether those instances merit his forfeiture of the office."
Martin added he would prefer to prepare the resolution prior to commenting on any specifics. Martin said the resolution is expected to be ready for the next council meeting March 6.
Patch is tracking this story as it develops.
RECENT ELLISVILLE COUNCIL NEWS:
- Charter Commission Recommends Dismissal of Impeachment Claims Against Ellisville Mayor
- Impeachment Claim Against Ellisville Mayor Gets 1st Hearing Monday
- Resident Says Ellisville Mayor Violated Charter; Wants Impeachment