Update: The Missouri Times briefly spoke with Adam Paul after the order was issued. Paul said while he may never recover from the character attacks, he’s happy Judge Vincent gave him “a fair shake.”
“Have of me wanted to scream ‘Attica! Attica!’ from the prison walls,” he said. “The other half wanted to curl up in a ball. This has been mentally exhausting for me and my family.”
ST. LOUIS — The Circuit Court of St. Louis County released a temporary order Monday morning reinstating Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul, effective immediately.
Circuit Court Judge David Lee Vincent III found that Paul, “may have been improperly removed as Mayor by City Council.”
The order says the Council may have violated Paul’s due process rights when they amended a resolution that would remove him and added new charges during the beginning of Paul’s April 1 removal hearing without giving notice of the changes. That change, and denial of extra time for Paul to consider the amended resolution, could invalidate the removal hearing.
The City Charter should have allowed Paul to request a hearing within five days after a resolution was delivered to him. And the section mandates a removal hearing be held between 15 and 30 days after the request is filed.
“However, the City Council or hearing officer, as alleged, did not follow the procedural mandates of section 3.6 of the Charter when failing to continue the date of the removal hearing to allow Paul at least fifteen days to prepare a defense against the amended resolution,” the order states, concluding that Paul was denied that due process right provided by the Charter.
The order said the due process issue and “other alleged improprieties” described in the facts of the case provide a “compelling reason to stay the City Council’s order of removal,” or reinstate the mayor.
The order is remporary pending an administrative court hearing.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.