Ellisville Council Fires City Attorney in Closed Door Meeting
ELLISVILLE, Mo. (KMOX) – City Attorney Paul Martin was shown the door in a special meeting Wednesday, which was originally called to expedite tax incentives for Walmart.
Martin was previously accused of orchestrating Mayor Adam Paul’s impeachment and, more recently, of allegedly threatening a council member to vote for the Walmart.
“Councils have the right to let their city attorney go whenever they want to let them go,” Martin told KMOX’s Michael Calhoun as he left City Hall after the meeting. “I’m not going to get into second guessing or individual motivations.”
Mayor Paul, removed from office earlier but then temporarily reinstated, looked happy after emerging from closed session.
Emails released during the course of the impeachment revealed that Martin and councilman Matt Pirrello discussed tactics for removing the Mayor. Martin suggested that Pirrello find a citizen to file a complaint. In his March deposition, Martin said discussions about the Mayor’s fate began two months after he was elected.
Martin recently severed ties with University City, where he also served as City Attorney. City Manager Lehman Walker told KMOX that he couldn’t discuss private personnel matters.
Meanwhile, Ellisville council members Wednesday night did authorize, on a 4-3 vote, the city to issue tax-increment financing (TIF) bonds to help build the Walmart. A week earlier, developer Jim Sansone threatened to sue the city if the council didn’t approve the $11-million in bonds by July 1st.
Councilwoman Linda Reel, the swing vote on the measure, reluctantly voted yes, mentioning that she felt developers and City Attorney Paul Martin left her no other choice.
“I just can’t be personally sued over this,” she publicly during Wednesday’s meeting. “I’m retired, my husband is retired and I could not afford to do this fight.”
She alleged in an email to a constituent written June 20th, obtained by KMOX, that City Attorney Martin told her not only would she be sued individually if she voted against the TIF bonds, but the city would not provide legal representation for her.
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