Ellisville Mayor Facing Possible Impeachment Over Tax Money
ELLISVILLE, MO. (KTVI) – There were fireworks at a special meeting Monday night on whether to impeach Ellisville Mayor, Adam Paul.
The mayor’s attorney, Lynette Patruska, was booted from the meeting — by police escort.
It all stemmed from the volatile Ellisville Walmart project that had led to recall petitions and a lawsuit.
Patruska and City Attorney, Paul Martin, went it from the moment the meeting of special commission to consider impeachment started.
‘I`m assuming you`re not going to take up our issues?’ Patruska charged, asking that Martin and two members of the commission be disallowed from participating because what she said were biases and conflicts of interest that they brought to the proceedings.
‘Have a seat,’ Martin reprimanded her, repeatedly.
‘No, Mr. Martin, I am attempting to represent my client in what appears to be a witch hunt,’ she said.
She also called the proceeding a ‘kangaroo court’ and a ‘sham’.
‘If you do not sit down I`m going to ask the chief to escort you out of here,’ Martin warned.
Minutes later, the city manager directed the police chief to escort her from the meeting.
The move brought groans from the crowd of 50 or so people.
Then, moments later, the crowd was cheering. The special commission defeated the impeachment effort, 3 votes to none.
‘The complaint was valid. I don`t want to say it was baseless because anyone who was at the last meeting certainly heard what went on. But I think there`s a certain standard that it has to meet…it has to be extremely serious,’ said Michelle Murray, chairwoman of the special commission.
The dispute arose from a $49 million Walmart project at the site of a former car dealership on Manchester near Kiefer Creek Road; using TIF (tax increment financing) which would put one-half of sales tax revenues from the project toward site improvements.
The mayor was against the deal and allegedly directed the police chief to remove resident and former council member, Katie James, from a meeting. James is a TIF commission member and supporter of the Walmart project. She filed for the mayor`s impeachment – saying he violated the city charter by so directing the police chief.
‘It`s definitely good news for myself and the city. I`m looking forward to putting this behind us.
It`s been a long week for me as you can probably imagine. I believe it was a silly allegation with serious consequences,’ said Mayor Adam Paul.
‘I don`t believe I was disrupting a meeting. I believe I was representing my client,’ Patruska said. ‘We anticipated a very different progression of this because of the political animosity that has resulted from the whole Walmart situation. So we`re pleased.’
The Walmart deal has been approved; but a judge’s ruling on whether to overturn it could come any day, after a resident sued the city, claiming the council improperly granted a “conditional use permit” for project.
The city council will vote Wednesday night on whether to approve the commission’s recommendation to dismiss the impeachment matter.
James didn’t show up for Monday night`s meeting.