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.
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 City Council voted unanimously Wednesday evening to move forward with a litany of charges against the mayor that include disclosing confidential information and drinking on the job.
Dozens of residents had attended the special council meeting to show support for the Mayor, but it didn't sway the council.
A hearing was scheduled for March 20 to decide whether Paul should be permanently removed from office.
Mayor Paul has been at odds with most of the council over a controversial Walmart TIF since he was elected last April.
The 11 page resolution calling for Paul’s removal was drawn up by City Attorney Paul Martin after the council voted 5-2 for impeachment proceedings. Martin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the mayor's improprieties began right after he took office last April.
That's also when Paul began officially fighting with most council members over a controversial Walmart TIF. The TIF passed, but is now tied up in court.
The impeachment drive follows an effort by some residents to get council members who'd supported the TIF recalled from office. That effort fell flat when a St. Louis County judge ruled that the city's recall provisions were unconstitutional.
If the council votes to adopt the impeachment resolution at Wednesday night's meeting, Paul would be suspended for 45 days, pending the outcome of an investigation.
The move comes just two days after the Ellisville Charter Enforcement Commission unanimously recommended that the impeachment complaint be thrown out.
Ironically, it's Martin who will present the resolution at the March 6th council meeting.
The specifics of the complaint against the mayor haven't been released, but Martin has clashed frequently with other council members over a controversial Walmart TIF that was passed last year. Martin had been elected last spring after campaigning against the TIF.
The mayor's attorney, Chet Pleban, says the impeachment effort will be met with litigation.