The City of Ellisville is still without a mayor after the City Council vote to reinstate ousted Mayor Adam Paul ended in a 3-3 tie Wednesday night.
The result surprised many residents and Paul supporters. That's because one of three new council members who took offices after Paul was impeached voted not to reinstate him. Many had believed that council member Cindy Pool had been a Paul supporter.
Paul says he was disappointed with Pool's vote. He says she isn't listening to her constituents and that's going to be costly. "You know, it's going to cost the city probably a quarter-million dollars now," he said. "It's just more of the same we had with our last council."
Paul's attorney says he'll ask a judge next week to reinstate Paul while he awaits a ruling on his appeal. The court date for that appeal hasn't been set.
The Council did agree to hold a special election for Mayor in November.
Ellisville's ousted mayor is making good on his promise to appeal his impeachment in court. Former Mayor Adam Paul filed an appeal in St. Louis County Circuit Court Wednesday asking a judge to overturn his April 8th impeachment.
But he didn't stop there.
Paul also filed a defamation lawsuit against his accusers. The suit claims City Attorney Paul Martin, Council Member Matt Pirrello, City Manager Kevin Bookout and resident Katie James harmed his reputation by making unsubstantiated allegations against him.
Paul hand delivered a copy of the lawsuit to the city council at last night's council meeting.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the new city council, which took office Wednesday night, has decided not to appoint an interim mayor to take Paul's place. The council plans to proceed with a special election, but the details have not yet been determined.
The city of Ellisville is without a mayor. That's because the city council voted 5-to-1 to impeach Adam Paul Monday evening.
Mayor Paul and his attorney Chet Pleban left before the final vote. They have maintained for weeks that the impeachment hearings and deliberation were just for show -- that the council's decision was a foregone conclusion based on Paul's opposition to using tax incentives to build a new Walmart.
But former mayor, Councilman Matt Pirrello denies that and tells McGraw in the Morning here on the Big 550 although he's not a fan of tax increment financing--he would still vote in favor of the Walmart TIF.
Matt Pirrello says, "As a responsible leader for my community, I cannot sit back and let my municipality go broke standing on principle."
Before taking the impeachment vote, the council found Paul guilty on six charges of violating the city's charter.
Paul says he'll ask a St. Louis County judge to set aside the impeachment until the newly elected city council takes office April 17th so that the new council can make the decision.
The Ellisville City Council is expected to decide Monday evening whether or not to impeach their mayor, Adam Paul. The council has scheduled public deliberations at 6:00 p.m.
If the council votes to oust Paul, he has said he'll sue.
The council has already retained attorneys to defend the impeachment, but the vigor of that defense is up in the air, since a newly elected council will be seated April 17th.
Three new council members were elected April 2nd - two of them are Paul supporters. The third hasn't made her position known. Paul opponents Matt Pirrello and Rose Acup will remain on the council, along with Linda Reel, who had voted against charging Paul in the first place.
Mayor Paul was elected in April 2012 after campaigning against tax increment financing for a development that includes a new Walmart store. The TIF was approved despite his opposition.
The fate of Ellisville's embattled mayor won't be known until next week. The City Council was supposed to vote on Mayor Adam Paul's impeachment Wednesday, but postponed deliberations until Monday.
Paul and his attorney Chet Pleban spoke with KTRS's McGraw Millhaven Thursday morning about the proceedings.
Some of the charges against Mayor Paul were dropped last night - due to a lack of evidence. Those include allegations Paul leaked confidential information. Paul says those charges should never have been brought against him.
"Releasing confidential information is pretty, pretty significant, and they're pretty serious allegations," Paul told McGraw. "And if you're going to put allegations like that out there, you better have some evidence."
Paul's attorney Chet Pleban told KTRS's McGraw Millhaven this morning that the charges against his client keep shifting. Pleban says although some charges against his client have been dropped, another charge - that Paul improperly questioned a city official - took center stage at last night's council meeting.
Pleban says the charge stems from an inquiry the mayor made on behalf of a constituent. Pleban told McGraw that the resident wanted to know how he would be compensated for being displaced from low-income housing by the new Walmart development.
"He went to the person who was the relocation expert and asked that question of what does this person get," Pleban said. "He got the answer to that question. He was satisfied with the answer, took it back to his constituent. And now they want to impeach him for asking the relocation person that particular question."
Paul says that when the council finally votes on it, he expects to be ousted, and if that happens, he says he will sue.
Pleban says the city council is already hiring legal representation in anticipation of that lawsuit.
The suspended mayor of Ellisville will be the subject of a hearing in St. Louis County Court this afternoon (Thursday). Wednesday Mayor Adam Paul's attorney, Chet Pleban, spoke with KTRS's McGraw Millhaven.
Pleban said his client is suing to stop the impeachment, which he called collusion between city councilman, Matt Parillo and Ellisville city attorney, Paul Martin. Pleban read emails on the air between the two that listed possible charges and laid out a plan to remove Mayor Paul from office. Pleban says Martin and Parillo took their plan to former city council woman Katie James three days before she formally presented the charges against the mayor as her own.
James tells McGraw Thursday morning she acted alone and only sought the advice of the city attorney and councilman Parillo. Katie James says, "I don't know why the city went farther with my charges, I'm not privy to that. Why they feel the relationship with the mayor has devolved that they feel they cannot work with him. I want the city just to work." "Did his actions rise to a level to overthrow a duly elected mayor of a town?" Katie James: And I don't have all the facts in that. Do I think he is a capable a mayor..no I do not." McGraw: "Again..should the vote of the people of Ellisville be overturned by the council?" James:"If he broke the law? Yes."
For months, James had claimed that Paul mistreated her when he tried to have police officers remove her from a meeting in May. When she learned of another incident where Paul had tried to remove a resident from a meeting in February. She tells McGraw that's when she decided to take action.
Mayor Pro Tem Matt Pirrello told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Paul's attorney had asked for the extra five days in order to prepare his defense.
The council had suspended Paul February 27 on charges that he violated the city's charter. Paul has maintained that the action stemmed from his vigorous opposition to a controversial tax increment financing for a Walmart development.
Three city council seats will be decided in the April 2nd election.
Also last night, the City Council rejected tax incentives for a second proposed development from Sansone Group. The developer had already won a TIF for a Walmart project.
They also asked for more tax-payer financing, but the Economic Development Commission rejected the plan.
Commission chairman Tom Weis says they were hoping for something more than another shopping center. Weis said they want something "tying in with the great streets concept; trying to build these little pods people can live in, work in, they can shop in."
Tax Increment Financing has been a hot-button issue in the West County suburb, even contributing to the suspension of Mayor Adam Paul, who opposed the Walmart TIF.
Paul says he believes his election was a referendum by Ellisville residents against using tax dollars for such projects. "I believe we started TIF reform in the region," Paul said. "For the developer to come back asking for more tax increment financing and more incentives is preposterous."
Paul won a legal victory at a hearing Monday, forcing the city council to turn over documents detailing communications regarding his impeachment. Paul's attorney says he still expects the council to remove the mayor from office on March 27, saying the votes are already lined up.
The Mayor's attorney Chet Pleban says although the polygraph test is inadmissible in court he tells KTRS' McGraw Milhaven this was the Mayor's only recourse since he no longer has a vote on the council.
Pleban says, "He answered in the negative he had not had any alcoholic beverages under those circumstances and the polygraph examiner determined he was truthful in his response. You can't put the smoke back in the bag last night they (city council) said we're not going to go forward with this drinking allegation well, it's out there. Adam Paul has to live and work in the St Louis area and live in the city of Ellisville and this is the only way right now to clear his name.""
Paul has repeatedly refuted the drinking and swearing charges saying they stem from his disagreements with the city council over a controversial Walmart TIF.