Here is the link to the complaint.
Here is the link to Mrs. Bryge's investigation and recommendations.
I am not going to add a lot of commentary in this article but will add a couple things.
- First, you can find the entire section on removal from office found in the Charter below.
- There is some confusion that there must be a complaint filed with the Mayor before he has the responsibility to do his duty. That is not what the Charter says. His responsibility starts when he gains knowledge of a possible disqualification. Also, he does not get to decide if the member is qualified, council does that.
- It appears that Mr. Otto waited 10 days to file his complaint because of the mention of 10 days in item c. That mention of 10 days is actually a not earlier than date (not a not later than date) and it starts after the Council Member who (may be) in violation is given notice that there is evidence they may be in violation. The time that the Mayor has to act is not defined but it stands to reason that it should be timely. In this case though, Mr. Morgan gave the Mayor information that indicated he may be in violation back in November so that is when the Mayor should have noticed Mr. Morgan that there was an indication he might be in violation and then in a timely manner brought it before council.
- Look out for wordsmithing. For instance when forming his recommendation, the Lawyer tells us that Mr. Morgan petitioning the court so he can get permission to sell his home in Huber Heights was an indication he did not intend to return to Huber Heights. Then in Ms. Byrge's investigation the Mayor tells us he concluded the Lawyer was wrong because Mr. Morgan told him he had not yet listed his house for sale.
Comments and discussion are welcome below, and of course, on Facebook.
Section 13.08 - Removal of official.
SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONCOMPARE VERSIONS
The Mayor and Councilmembers shall be removed for cause as provided in this Section of the Charter.
As used in this Section of the Charter, the "Charging Official" shall mean: the "Mayor" except where the person accused of a grounds for removal is the person holding the office of Mayor; or the "Vice Mayor" where the person sought to be removed for cause holds the office of Mayor.
The Charging Official having reason to believe there is probable cause (as such causes are defined in this Section) for the removal of the Mayor or Councilmember, shall give notice of the alleged cause for removal and the time, date and place of the commencement of hearing for removal, which shall not be earlier than ten (10) days after the service of the notice to the accused person by personal service, certified mail, or by leaving a copy of such notice at the person's last known place of residence in the City. At such time, date and place and at any adjourned meetings, the Council shall hear, provide an opportunity to the accused person to be heard and present defenses, and determine whether the accused person shall be removed from office. The Council shall remove an official for any of the following causes by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Councilmembers then holding office, provided that if the accused person is the Mayor or a Councilmember, such person shall not vote on any matter during the removal procedure and shall not be counted in determining required majorities:
Failure to possess or maintain the qualifications of the office prescribed by this Charter;
Intentional violation of the prohibitions set forth in Section 4.06 of this Charter;
Conviction of a felony; or
Violation of any expressed provision of the Charter; or
Unexcused absences from any three (3) consecutive regular meetings of the Council, Board or Commission on which such person serves. An absence from a regular meeting may be excused by a majority vote of the members of the Council then holding office; such absence may be excused at any time, including the excusing of any absence after action is initiated but prior to the commencement of hearings for the person's removal under this Section.
Upon the removal of an official from office pursuant to this Section, the office of the offending person shall be vacant, subject to any appeal to and review by an appropriate court, and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in this Charter.
The removal of an official or the occurrence of any of the causes permitting the removal shall not invalidate any official action of the Council in which the member participated. The subsequent removal of a person who fills a vacancy created pursuant to this Section by the reinstatement by a court of a person previously removed by the Council, shall not invalidate any action of the person who filled the vacancy or the Council in which such person who filled the vacancy participated.
The Council shall be the judge of the grounds for removal from office and shall conduct the proceedings relative to removal. The Council shall have the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the producing of evidence, either on its own motion or through the process of any appropriate court or officer thereof. A person charged with conduct constituting grounds for removal from office shall be entitled to a public hearing on demand, but in any case, a record of the proceedings shall be made and preserved. If a public hearing is demanded, a notice of such hearing shall be published in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the City and posted on available public media at least one (1) week in advance of the hearing, and in such an event, the Charging Official may reschedule the time, date and place of the hearing to accommodate the publication of the notice. If the hearing is rescheduled, the Charging Official shall notify the accused person of such fact. Decisions made by the Council under this Section shall be subject to review by the Courts on matters of law and whether the Council acted arbitrarily and without probative evidence to support the grounds for removal.
Council shall request the County Prosecutor or his designee to prosecute the removal proceedings before the Council and any reviews thereof by the Courts. If the County Prosecutor refuses to accept the responsibility, Council shall appoint a Special Prosecutor who shall prosecute the removal proceedings before the Council and any reviews thereof by the Courts. If a person accused is not finally removed the City shall pay the reasonable costs of the defense of such persons and any compensation withheld pending the appeal of the action of the Council.
As an aside because it is not particularly relevant; but Matt Truman asked me what I thought of the residency issue back on Jan 23rd. Here is how I responded.
It is now Feb 12 and Mr. Morgan's resignation seems appropriate.