Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Move to Oust Aldermen Sparks Flap Officials Clash over Legal Aftermath of Residence Changes; `It's Political,' One Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Move to Oust Aldermen Sparks Flap Officials Clash over Legal Aftermath of Residence Changes; `It's Political,' One Says

Article excerpt

Arnold Mayor Marion Becker has asked the Missouri attorney general and the Jefferson County prosecutor to oust two aldermen who moved out of their ward.

At a contentious City Council meeting Thursday night, Becker read letters she had sent to Attorney General Jay Nixon and Prosecutor Bob Wilkins. She said residents of Ward 1 were not being represented because Joe Pounds had moved out of town and Glen Portell had moved to Ward 3. Both men were elected in the 1st Ward.

Wilkins, a former city prosecutor in Arnold, said Friday that he was reviewing the request.

Portell, who is up for re-election in April, said that when he ran in 1994, "I made it very clear I was moving."

He has been at odds with Becker since he ran against her for mayor in 1993 and lost. He said he was "sick and tired" of Becker trying to oust him. "It's personal and political," he said.

Pounds said he moved to the Kimmswick area last summer because of family concerns. "My move is temporary. I'll be back in the ward by the end of the year,"he said.

Robert Sweeney, the city's elected attorney, has sided with Pounds and Portell, saying that a city ordinance only requires they live in their ward for six months prior to the election.

Sweeney rejected an opinion from Ben Cytron, the appointed city counselor, that Pounds and Portell are ineligible to hold their seats.

Lawyer Chet Pleban said that answers by Portell and Pounds to questions about where they lived were confusing. "My 4-year-old son knows where he lives," Pleban said, evoking laughter from the packed council chamber. Pleban represents City Administrator Eric Knoll and three of the city council members. Knoll hired Pleban after one faction of the council asked him to accept $25,000 to resign.

That issue is pending.

Three council members - Michael Wright, Vernon Sullivan and David Fogelbach - hired Pleban to help them fight an effort to impeach them.

Pleban said Portell and Pounds have no right to hold office, yet "are participating in the removal of three others. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.