Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Flap over Alderman's Impeachment Heating Up Hearing Set; Corbett's Attorney Seeking to Disqualify Some Officials

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Flap over Alderman's Impeachment Heating Up Hearing Set; Corbett's Attorney Seeking to Disqualify Some Officials

Article excerpt

The Peerless Park Board of Aldermen has begun impeaching Alderman Mary Corbett, 1st Ward. But Corbett and her attorney say that the board's action is illegal and that they plan to disqualify several officials from taking part in the impeachment.

The board has scheduled a hearing on Corbett's impeachment at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 22 at Peerless Park City Hall, 1 Valley Park Road.

Corbett's attorney, Kathryn Koch, who has already filed several lawsuits against Peerless Park on Corbett's behalf, says she plans to file another suit to keep two of the aldermen from voting on whether to remove Corbett from office. Koch says she plans to take depositions from all parties involved, including the mayor, the three other aldermen, City Attorney Eric Martin and the board-appointed special counsel, Christopher Kraft, who will conduct the impeachment hearing. The articles of impeachment the board adopted Monday night say that Corbett deliberately failed to attend 10 board meetings - eight of them consecutive - between April 14 and July 14. The articles say that Corbett and former Alderman Susan McCole remained absent "to frustrate the legislative process of the City of Peerless Park" and that the action "resulted in expenses and legal liability for the city . . . as the city was not able to pass legislation and approve bills." The state law governing fourth-class cities under the Missouri Constitution requires at least three members of a four-member board of aldermen to vote in favor of a piece of legislation before it can be passed. The impeachment articles conclude that Corbett's contrived absences "constitute nonfeasance in office." At the board's meeting, Corbett called on Alderman Steve Kell, 2nd Ward, to abstain from voting on whether to approve the impeachment articles. "I believe (Kell) is biased against me," Corbett said. "I believe he has a financial interest against me." Kell said he had no idea what Corbett was talking about. Corbett said one of her reasons for not attending the meetings was that the board was considering whether to allow a developer to construct Section 8 low-income housing on property currently owned by Kell's company. …

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