Ashland moves to impeach suspended alderman

Jeff Anderson was suspended in September and now faces impeachment from the Board of Aldermen

POSTED: 06:37 PM CDT Oct 08, 2013    UPDATED: 06:48 PM CDT Oct 08, 2013 
Ashland Board of Aldermen
ASHLAND, Mo. -

A special board of aldermen met in Ashland Tuesday to discuss the controversial suspension of an alderman. Now the board wants to kick him off for good.

Second Ward Alderman Jeff Anderson was suspended in September. The board sent him a letter saying the suspension happened because of his attempts to circumvent the board and for acting in a way inconsistent with his role as an alderman. Some in the city believe the move was illegal.

During the meeting, there were several tense moments. Most of the moments came when they were talking about Anderson and his suspension. Mayor Gene Rhorer tells ABC 17 News this issue needs to resolved.

As soon as the meeting began, Anderson stood up in the crowd and demanded he be let back in his seat. That request was quickly denied by Rhorer.

Rhorer said Anderson was still suspended and if he wanted to talk, he could do so during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Rhorer said the issue needs to move forward because it's slowing the city's work process down.

“Accumulated a lot of time in my daily schedule, not to mention those daily schedules of the older persons and city staff,” Rhorer said.

There was also a motion by another alderman to reinstate Anderson. No other alderman would second that motion, so Anderson was denied a second time.

The board, however, did come to a majority agreement to impeach Anderson. They chose former city attorney David Bandre -- who was let go in May -- to be the special attorney to handle the impeachment process.

City officials are being tight-lipped and still not releasing specific details about why Anderson is suspended.

“Once Mr. Bandre is in his role as special counsel, he'll be able to release details of the impeachment and why it's going forward,” interim city attorney Andrew Bach said.

Rhorer said he's confident the process will move along swiftly.

“My information that Mr. Bandre has represented two or three impeachments, so he is up to date on the process,” Rhorer said.

Anderson would not do any interviews on Tuesday and promptly left the meeting when they brought up the issuing of hiring Bandre to impeach him. There have not been any dates set yet for those impeachment hearings.

During the meeting, the board unsuccessfully tried to hire a full-time city attorney. There were names introduced, but none was able to get a majority vote.