CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI) - The Chesterfield City Council voted Tuesday night to censure Mayor Bob Nation. The mayor admitted using foul language in front of a city employee in July. Some people called the mayor’s language intimidating and offensive. An independent investigation produced a recommendation that the council take action. The vote to censure was 7-0.
Some council members praised the mayor for his work with the city, but felt the vote was necessary.
Council member Connie Fults said if the city failed to take action, it could have been subject to a lawsuit.
"Based on the fact that we had a potential litigation and what that cost would be, we felt it would be best to hire an outside attorney to do an outside investigation,’ said Fults. The investigation will cost the city $17,000.
Critics of the council’s decision believe the matter could have been resolved privately. Nation’s attorney, Chet Pleban, said his client and his family have been embarrassed and that Nation has offered an apology. Pleban suggested the council could have saved the taxpayers the cost of the investigation by buying a 50 cent bar of soap to wash out the mayor’s mouth.
“That’s what you do with kids who misbehave,” said Pleban.
Nation read a statement before the board in which he apologized. He’s made it clear that in spite of the controversy, he will stay in office. He said he chose not to challenge the legality of the censure hearing because he wants to move forward.
“I wish it wasn't this way, but I felt this was the right thing to do,” said Nation.
Pleban argued his client should never have been censured because city policies regarding harassment are directed toward employees. Chesterfield has a city administrator form of government. The mayor is an elected official, and is not considered an employee.
The attorney hired by the city to conduct an investigation said the mayor’s action warranted a censure vote by the council.