Note: The following story was updated at 4:00 p.m. Friday to reflect the decision by Adam Paul’s attorneys to appeal the judge’s decision.
ELLISVILLE, MO (KMOX) – A St. Louis County Circuit Court judge had denied a motion to halt the impeachment hearing of Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul.
Chet Pleban, a lawyer for Paul, argued that the city’s charter is unconstitutional and therefore the impeachment attempt should be grounded.
“The charter provision here is so unconstitutionally vague that Adam Paul should not have to go through an impeachment process and the people of the city of Ellisville should not have to go through an impeachment process,” Pleban said Thursday.
Pleban argued that the charter allows for frivolous charges and claims that the City Council is hopelessly biased but Judge Robert Cohen ruled against Pleban’s interpretation Friday morning. Cohen instead sided with Ellisville city attorneys who argued that the impeachment cannot be challenged until someone is actually harmed, i.e. the mayor is removed from office.
Thursday, KMOX News reported on emails between a council member and the city attorney that seemed to reveal they had been plotting against the mayor in the months prior to impeachment filings. Some of those council members will testify against him before deciding his fate.
Pleban argued Thursday that there is a simple answer to the mess: delaying the impeachment trial until after council elections Tuesday. “We believe now that the process should be slowed down, that this court needs to make legal decisions on legal issues that include the Constitution.”
Paul’s attorneys filed with the Missouri Court of Appeals Friday afternoon to block Monday’s impeachment. The impeachment hearing is scheduled for six o’clock Monday night at Ellisville Elementary School.