Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Crowd at University City Council Meeting Rallies Behind Member in Mayor's Crosshairs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Crowd at University City Council Meeting Rallies Behind Member in Mayor's Crosshairs

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY CITY * Never far below the surface, the often bitter split in municipal governance reared again in public Monday night as the city mayor made her case for forcibly removing a councilman.

The latest fireworks erupted four days after Mayor Shelley Welsch announced the initiation of a "Petition in Quo Warranto" asking St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to begin legal proceedings to oust two-term council member Terry Crow.

"It is a draconian tactic used as a last resort by this council and this mayor to remove me from office, silencing my voice and silencing yours. ... I call it slanderous and I call it maligning my character," Crow told an overflow City Hall audience, most holding orange signs stating "NOT IN MY NAME. NOT ON MY DIME. I STAND WITH TERRY!"

Crow stands accused in the petition of forwarding a 2014 email containing a ruling from the city attorney on the legality of city employees participating in municipal elections to a vice president of the union representing University City firefighters.

Welsch on Monday reiterated her contention that forwarding the information constituted a "clear violation of his oath of office."

Maintaining the legal opinion was a confidential matter, the petition cites Crow for malfeasance, violating the public trust by breaching his "ethical responsibilities" and interfering with council functions.

It asks that McCulloch present the findings to a St. Louis County Circuit Court judge to determine if Crow should remain in office.

In a six-page response hand-delivered to the special counsel retained by the City Council to address the allegations, Crow's attorney on Monday labeled the petition an example of Welsch and her political allies "riding roughshod over the rights of those who disagree with them, and regularly thumbing their noses at large portions of the citizenry."

Attorney Gerald P. Greiman called the bid to oust Crow a "new low in disgraceful and abhorrent tactics."

Greiman went further Monday night, telling council members the petition represents "allegations (that) would do Sen. Joseph McCarthy proud."

The council meeting was supposed to be a referendum on Crow.

It turned into a forum on Welsch herself the target of a recall petition. …

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