Theresa Wilson impeachment hearing pushed back to May 26

FERRELVIEW, Mo. — Since a new regime took over guiding the Village of Ferrelview after the April 3 election, there has been plenty of meetings.

The board was sworn in during the April 10 meeting and since then they have called special meetings on April 14 and two last week, April 19 and 21.

Saturday was scheduled to be the impeachment hearing of trustee Theresa Wilson — the chairperson up until the April 10 meeting when she resigned and Phil Gilliam was voted into the role.

Gilliam brought the impeachment charges against Wilson listing numerous accusations but during the April 19 special session, the board voted to push back the impeachment hearing to Saturday, May 26.

That was news to Kansas City lawyer Dennis Rowland, who was there for the impeachment hearing to represent Wilson. He is also serving as her counsel for a criminal case following an alleged assault last November.

Rowland was still at the meeting after not getting official word from the village about the postponement of the hearing.

Rowland levied a series of questions toward Gilliam, who didn’t answer.

“I’m not stating anything, sir,” he said. “I’m not answering your questions because I don’t think it is in the best interest a question of an attorney without counsel of the village.”

Rowland, one of three people taping the dialogue between himself and Gilliam said, “I will put you on notice and the entire board that Mrs. Wilson denies each and every charge you levied against her.”

The board took steps toward getting an attorney for the first time since November during the Saturday, April 19 meeting. The previous attorney, Scott Campbell, resigned after a meeting was held that ultimately led to the suspension of police chief Daniel Clayton, where Theresa Wilson, Russell Wilson and Melvin Rhodes took part and voted 3-0. 

Gilliam reached out to Ensz and Jester, a Kansas City-based firm, about serving as a special counsel in the interim until a full-time replacement has been found.

“The only problem I have is it is high, I will not lie,” Russell Wilson said. “We aren’t in that position. That is the only issue I have.”

There would be no retainer cost but a motion was passed to try to find a law firm.

“I’m finding a hard time finding anyone that will touch this place with a 10 foot pole,” Gilliam said. “I have done a lot of research because someone needed to. We have needed counsel since our last counsel vacated but no one thought it was important enough to take care of.”

A second motion was passed to place an ad in the local papers to hire a city attorney.
Trustee John Rydholm made a motion to place an ad in the Courier-Tribune, Kansas City Star and the Platte County Citizen, though Theresa Wilson made a comment ‘The (Platte County) Landmark has a bigger area they cover’ but she didn’t have any support. (For the record, both papers cover Platte County events.)

Theresa Wilson and Beth Whorton both had turns talking about various items in the meeting — a combined nine topics.

A motion was passed to have all city employees, full-time, part-time or salary clock in and out for work. Theresa Wilson brought up issues with Clayton, since being reinstated.

“He needs to be here for the hours he is paid,” she said. “I think all employees should have to clock in. The main questions since he was put back on duty was where is he? They haven’t seen him and they were asking where he is.”

City clerk Patsy Murray and city treasurer Mickey Vulgamott — currently off duty due to stress related to the job — are required to clock in to work. Clayton has been salary since the middle of last year, but the move will change his status.

Wilson also brought up utility theft, condemnation of a property, passcodes, a key to the police office and a blue cord being used in the office.

The utility theft concerned a citizen using water after it being turned off, but he denied the accusation. Gilliam noted the matter has been turned over the Platte County Sheriff’s Office

There is apparently a missing key to the police office that is unaccounted for. The board will check with interim chief Kevin LaBranche to see if he has it, but if not, new locks will be ordered.

In other news:
- The board voted 5-0 to look into buying a new battery for Clayton ‘s vehicle. 
- The board discussed water bills again in regards to shutoff notices. 
- Starting possibly as early as June, the board meetings will be held on the first Saturday afternoon instead of the usual second Tuesday of the month. According to the Missouri Municipal League, though it is rare, that is an option as towns have to provide a ‘time reasonable for citizens’ to attend.
- Discussion was held on unpaid water bill balances from former residents that moved out of town. In the past, the board worked with Credit World Services, paying them 33 percent of the collection fees.