Ellisville City Council Member and former mayor Matt Pirrello filed suit Aug. 27 against the City of Ellisville, five Ellisville residents and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.
The suit protests the "constitutionality" of Article 9 of the Ellisville City Charter, which describes the recall process for elected officials. Recent recall efforts stem from a potential Walmart development in the city and the council's approval of a TIF for the Walmart.
The city issued recall petitions, spurring the suit action according to an STLtoday article, for council members Roze Acup, Dawn Anglin, Troy Pieper, Linda Reel and Pirrello.
Pirrello is the sole plaintiff in the case and has also issued a request for a temporary restraining order against the defendants to halt the collection of petition signatures.
Julia Dolan, Mary Ann Dust, Sandra McGrath, Vincent McGrath and Patti Murphy are Ellisville residents named as defendants in the suit.
The suit says, "Nothing in Article 9 of the city charter requires or permits any cause to be specified for the recall of an Ellisville elected official." An attempt to add language to Article 9, requiring a "specified cause" for recall, was voted off the table earlier in August. The change would have been an addition on the Nov. 6 ballot. Pirrello was not present at the meeting.
"We are elected by the public, and the public shouldn't be disenfranchised by arbitrary, capricious actions by people who don't like the day-to-day decisions a council member makes," Pirrello said in the STLtoday article.
The suit argument is that the recall is illegal, "because the recall petition blank...does not provide for or permit the specification of cause for the removal of Ellisville's elected officials."
Additionally, the suit refers to the Missouri Constitution (Art. 7, Sect. 4) stating that "elected officials who are not subject to impeachment 'shall be subject to removal from office in the manner and for the causes provided by law.'" The claim says Ellisville's Article 9 fails to include the specified cause element.