ST. LOUIS — Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul was permanently reinstated to his position this morning via a court order from St. Louis Circuit Court.
According to the ruling, handed down by Judge David Lee Vincent III, the Court found that Paul was improperly removed by the City Council from his post, and that his procedural due process rights were violated by the Council.
A resolution was amended, adding new charges against Paul, at the beginning of the April 1 Council hearing, not giving Paul the notice that the statute allows. Paul was denied time to consider the amended resolution when it was presented to him — a violation of the City law.
“Under Missouri law, due process demands that a city council comply with its own ordinances in removing any city employee,” the order states.
Paul told The Missouri Times that he’s both shocked and elated about the news following the months of dealing with lawyers which he said have remained the top five most recent people he’s called this whole time.
“If there’s ever a time in my life where I’ve been emotionally incapacitated, that was the moment,” Paul said about when he heard the ruling. “I’m glad to put this to bed and glad it wasn’t stretched out in the courts and cost the residents another $100,000.”
Paul said he still has unanswered questions about the charges made against him by the Council and the process that allowed that to happen.
Today’s news came a week after the Council voted to remove the City Attorney Paul Martin. Paul said severed ties with Martin were “a big step toward moving forward.” Martin was instrumental in the effort to oust the mayor during the earlier process.
Another key voice against Paul was Councilman and former Mayor prior to Paul’s term, Matt Pirrello, who couldn’t be immediately reached but who told The Missouri Times in early June that he had “no intentions of doing anything until there is a final position.”
The underlying situation that started the controversy involved the plans to bring in a Walmart to the city, potentially using a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, to follow-through with the operation. Paul’s campaign was based on an anti-Walmart and anti-TIF platform.
“My views on that will remain as they are,” Paul said. “If they want to move to Ellisville, they can do so on their own dime.”
Wednesday, the Council voted 4-3 for an ordinance that will let the city issue TIFs to help the construction process for Walmart, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.