3 Ashland aldermen resign over impeachment issue

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 | 12:30 p.m. CST; updated 2:07 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ASHLAND — Three members of the Ashland Board of Alderman who supported the ouster of another board member have resigned, a week after the impeachment effort failed.

None of the board members specifically mentioned the months-long effort to impeach Alderman Jeff Anderson in their resignation letters, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported. The resignations of board members David Thomas, John Hills and Carl Long led Mayor Gene Rhorer to call off Tuesday night's meeting because of a lack of a quorum.

"If they want to resign, that's fine," said Rhorer, whose tie-breaking vote on Jan. 13 ended the effort to oust Anderson. "We'll just appoint folks who want to serve the citizens."

Those who sought to impeach Anderson said he disrupted public meetings, interfered in a bidding process and used city staff for an unauthorized investigation of the town's former police chief. The board suspended Anderson in September, but a Boone County circuit judge ordered Anderson reinstated the following month.

In their resignation letters, Hill and Long both mentioned that they had been appointed, in part, to help hire a new police chief and new city administrator.

"I completed that obligation and I feel my job is done and am going back into retirement," Long wrote.

Hills said the city has hired "a very capable and professional police chief and city administrator."

Thomas cited personal reasons for his resignation, adding that he is battling cancer and was tired of "being lied to and being lied about."

Rhorer said he will call a special meeting by the end of the week to appoint new aldermen. The board also must meet to officially accept the resignations.

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