Impeachment hearing for Jennings mayor begins

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JENNINGS, MO (KTVI) - The case to remove the Jennings mayor from office began on Monday, but the impeachment hearing is not over.

The mayor did not testify Monday, but she told reporters she does not think the mistakes she made should result in her removal from office.

“I’m just going to work with the council, that’s all I want to do,” said Mayor Yolonda Fountain Henderson.

Council members will ultimately decide the mayor’s fate.  They heard testimony Monday from several witnesses.  One of those witnesses was called to substantiate an allegation the mayor ordered him to tow certain vehicles.  The witness, Harry Johnson, was the Deputy Building Commissioner at the time.  He testified under oath he did not recall the mayor telling him to tow any vehicles.

The next witness was Public Works Director William Kaeshammer.  He testified the mayor asked him to pick up her lawn mower from a repair shop and deliver it to her home.  On cross-examination he said he ran the errand on his lunch break, and estimated it cost the city no more than $2 in gasoline.

The mayor is also accused of directing driveway repairs to be made on private property.

The final witness to testify Monday was an employee in the clerk’s office who testified the mayor ordered her to unlock personnel files containing confidential information.  She said her boss, the city clerk, told her the mayor did not have the authority to access those files. The files contained medical records.

Fountain Henderson has accused two council members of fraudulently obtaining health insurance through the city of Jennings.  She believes the impeachment hearing is political payback for her accusations.

The case will continue at the Jennings Municipal Court building Saturday at 2 pm.  Prosecutor Paul Martin indicated he will be calling the city clerk as one of his witnesses.