We hired a lawyer to look into what the council, and the citizens have the right to do when there is a violation of the charter by an official of the city. The mayor violated the charter under more than one section when he hired, and continues to employee a certain person in our city. Not being sure if we were reading the charter right, and not wanting to make any mistakes we hired a lawyer to look into it. The lawyer states the following,
The City Charter grants the City Council authority to investigate irregularities in municipal affairs involving the hiring of employees, and also grants the City Council authority to retain special legal counsel for the purpose of assisting in any such investigation.
Section 6.13 of the City Charter grants the City Council authority to investigate “irregularities in municipal affairs” and investigate the conduct of any “office or officer of the City”. The Mayor is an “officer of the City” pursuant to Section 5.1 of the City Charter. Hiring employees without complying with City Charter provisions or City Ordinances reflects “irregularities in municipal affairs”.
When the City Council undertakes an investigation into irregularities in municipal affairs, the Council is authorized to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and compel the production of books, papers and other evidence needed to conduct the formal investigation. These powers are also granted by Section 6.13 of the Charter.
And the City Council may retain special legal counsel to assist in any such investigation. This right of the City Council is set forth is Section 5.3(j) of the City Charter.
If a “claim” is made against the City, the City Council is required to consider and act upon the claim. Section 18.9 of the Charter states that if a claim is filed with the City Clerk, the City Council must, within 60 days, investigate the claim. When the City Council investigates the claim, the Council can hold public hearings, at which the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, paper, and data may also be compelled by subpoena. These powers are granted by Section 18.8 of the City Charter.
Irregularities in municipal affairs which rise to the level of a violation of the City Charter are punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.00 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 90 days, or both fine and imprisonment. This punishment is set forth in Section 18.18 of the City Charter.
Any resident can file a complaint, and the council is required to investigate that complaint. The mayor hired this person for the NSP program, as a clerk, this job ones on of two that the council approved, and created all most one year ago. These positions where to be civil service positions, they never had to test before being hired, the jobs did not get posted. This is a clear violation of the charter.
When you hire someone as an emergency appointment, the person that is hiring for an emergency has to tell the civil service commission with in 5 days that they are creating this position, and to post the job opening, accepting applications, and testing. He didn’t do any of those things, and on, and on it goes. So for this reason we paid for a lawyer to look into it should we have to do this no, we should not as residents of this city ever have to hire a lawyer to see how many times our mayor is in violation of his own charter. To understand what our council is in-titled to do under our charter, the next question is when will a claim be made against the city. The rules in the charter were put in place for a reason, NO rules are not made to be broken,
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
Never underestimate the power of one persons voice.