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Mayor’s Attorney Questions Impeachment Conflict of Interest

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Ellisville City Council members on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

Ellisville City Council members on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

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ELLISVILLE (KMOX) - Suspended Mayor Adam Paul’s defense attorney says — now, more than ever — he’s convinced his client’s future is fixed.

Chet Pleban said the hearing officer for the case, appointed by the City Council, is sitting in during depositions of those same council members and is even objecting to questions posed by the defense.

“On the one hand, he’s supposed to act as the impartial judge; on the other hand, he’s representing the witness who’s going to be testifying, who happens to be a council member,” he said. “That would be like a judge in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County representing the witness who is on the witness stand and objecting to the questions that one of the two lawyers involved in the case are asking.”

Pleban adds that he feels the city has dragged its feet in turning over necessary evidence.

“They’ve delayed for two weeks now in providing documents that are critical to Adam Paul’s defense. We just got them,” he exclaimed. “I’m sifting through them as we speak and there’s no way, I believe, that I can adequately be ready by April the first.”

The impeachment hearing was originally scheduled for Wednesday night but has been delayed until next Monday night, April 1.

Pleban says “you can bet the farm” Mayor Paul will be impeached and that the conflict will conclude in St. Louis County Circuit Court. He claims it goes back to Paul’s opposition to tax increment financing (TIF) dollars for Walmart.

The most scandalous of charges, including drinking on the job and recording closed meetings, were eventually dropped by council members, although the case continues with other allegations.

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