Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Iowa AG Office Rejects Petition to Remove Muscatine City Council

Here is another story that I didn't notice when it began. I've written quite a lot recently about efforts by the Muscatine City Council to impeach Mayor Diana Broderson (read here for more details on that mess).

Back in mid-March, the Muscatine City Council was informed that a group of citizens were gathering signatures for a petition that they planned to deliver to the Iowa Attorney General's Office and to the Office of the lieutenant governor.

The petition accused the Muscatine City Council of violating Iowa Code 66.3 and asked for the state's assistance with removing the Muscatine City Council from power.

According to the petition:
We the undersigned believe that the Muscatine City Council along with the Muscatine City Administrator have failed in their duties to serve the citizens of the City of Muscatine, Iowa resulting in a lack of confidence in the governing body. Furthermore, we the citizens of the City of Muscatine Iowa believe that the City Council have violated laws in regards to the Mayor Diana Broaderson.
We learned yesterday that the AG's Office has declined to move forward with the petition to remove the Muscatine City Council from power:
On March 16, Muscatine resident, Ann Brumback, delivered the petition, with allegedly 1,100 signatures, asking the Attorney General to remove the city council pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 66. Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown responded to the petition April 18, claiming the instances cited "failed to meet legal criteria," and ruling the office would decline to pursue action on the petition. In an interview, Brumback said she is working with Jim Merideth, a Muscatine County resident, to review the Attorney General's letter and consider their options, which could include taking the case to court. With the petition, Brumback sent a packet of complaints, including allegations the council has made "disparaging remarks about the mayor's decisions" and making allegations "regarding nepotism by the Muscatine city administrator that were approved by the council," according to Brown. In response, Brown wrote, "there is insufficient proof that the council members acted with an evil or corrupt motive or acted in a dishonest or fraudulent manner."

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