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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Lewis resigns as chairman of Neosho Ethics Board

  • A member of the Neosho Ethics Board has announced his resignation.
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  • A member of the Neosho Ethics Board has announced his resignation.
    Neosho City Clerk Nora Houdyshell posted a statement just after noon that: “At approximately 8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 17, 2014, Mr. Timothy Lewis, former chairman of the Neosho Ethics Board, submitted his letter of resignation to the city clerk’s office, effective immediately.”
    The letter from Lewis states: “Dear council and mayor: This is a letter of my intent to resign my position on the Neosho Ethics Board effectively immediately. I want to thank each and every one of you for the opportunity to serve my community. Neosho is a great community that deserves nothing but the best from our elected, appointed and hired employees. I have confidence that this council will heal itself over time and will get back to putting 100 percent into running our city instead of running each other into the ground. Thank you for the time and effort you put into making our town the best in S.W. Missouri.”
    Houdyshell said the remainder of the ethics board, Lee Duran and Dr. Andrew Hamby, will continue their investigation into a series of ethics complaints against two city council members without Lewis.
    “Two members of the ethics board is a quorum, so we could proceed,” said Houdyshell.
    She said the city will not solicit letters of interest from citizens wishing to replace Lewis on the board.
    “It would be too hard to try to catch somebody up,” she explained.
    Lewis’ resignation will not be official until his letter is accepted by Neosho City Council.
    The Neosho Ethics Board heard from seven witnesses Monday evening who testified about their knowledge on several complaints filed by Derek A. Snyder against councilman Steve Hart and councilman David Ruth. During a follow-up meeting Wednesday, the board voted that all of the charges had enough substantiation to be forwarded to a formal hearing, over the objections of Lewis who thought several of the charges should be dropped.
    That hearing will be scheduled after special counsel is named to advise the board as they proceed. The board approved unanimously Wednesday to hire special counsel after Steven Hays, city attorney, recused himself from the case.
    Counsel for Hart and Ruth charged Monday that it was a conflict of interest for Hays to serve the board because of his possible involvement in two of the complaints; and Hays stepped away and advised the board to hire special counsel at the outset of Wednesday’s meeting.
    Neosho City Council will hold a special beginning at 3 p.m. Monday, April 21 in council chambers at city hall. The council will consider: appointing special counsel at the request of the Neosho Ethics Board, the letter of resignation submitted by Timothy Lewis, and a resolution to designate new signatories on city of Neosho checking accounts held at First Community Bank.
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