Ashland alderman facing impeachment

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 | 4:51 p.m. CDT

ASHLAND — A central Missouri alderman is facing impeachment over allegations that he illegally interfered with city business and was disruptive at meetings.

The Ashland Board of Aldermen on Tuesday approved seven articles of impeachment against Ward 2 Alderman Jeff Anderson. The allegations include that he asked city employees to help him conduct an unauthorized investigation to the police department, exposed the city to potential litigation over a bidding process for a mold problem at city hall and that he was disruptive at city meetings, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported.

The board voted to suspend Anderson on Sept. 16, but he was reinstated a week ago by a Boone County circuit judge.

Before the vote, Anderson apologized for any mistakes he had made.

"I'm willing to face my mistakes," he said. "It appears to me I may have offended some members of this board. I apologize."

In a letter to the board, Anderson's attorney, Chip Gentry, said none of the allegations "rises to the level of an impeachable offense." He also cautioned that the impeachment effort would bring more legal fees, city officials being asked to give sworn testimony and loss of productivity.

Mayor Gene Rhorer tried last weekend to resolve the board's differences without impeaching Anderson.

"We're portraying our city in a less than positive way," Rhorer said. "If we could agree to get along, we could be in a lot better way."

The board has tentatively set an impeachment hearing for Nov. 11, but special attorney David Bandre said it would be more realistic to have the hearing in early December to give Gentry time to prepare his case.

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