Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul, according to a lie detector test he took, did not drink vodka at city hall -- but given the long list of allegations he is facing from city officials trying to impeach him, he could probably use a drink.
The accusations from city officials include cursing, drinking at meetings, disclosing confidential information, violating the city charter, requesting a gun and badge, failing to control public outbursts, ordering people to be removed from meetings -- and much, much more.
"It is beyond crazy," his attorney Chet Pleban tells Daily RFT. "There is a lot of animosity."
That seems clear from an eleven-page document, on view below, outlining the mayor's alleged offenses. But has he convinced his opponents that he was not consuming alcohol at work?
At a council meeting on Wednesday night, those in the city working to impeach Paul did agree to drop some of the charges from the very long list of offenses they have officially brought forward in an effort to impeach the mayor. Included in the charges he is no longer facing are drinking and using profanity.
The original allegations in the City Council report said:
On a date unknown, but at a closed meeting in the City Hall conference room during the summer of 2012, City Manager [Kevin] Bookout was sitting next to Mayor Paul, who was drinking something. The Manager smelled alcohol on the Mayor's breath and asked the Mayor what he was drinking. The Mayor admitted to the City Manager that he was drinking vodka.
Another accusation said:
After the May 2, 2012 meeting, Mayor Paul, without cause or provocation, verbally confronted resident Katie James, stating in a loud voice "Do not tell me how to run my f'ing meeting. This is my f'ing seat."
Mayor Paul personally attacked his fellow council members and again used profanity during the public meeting, saying "shit" in the course of objecting to legislation.
While the cussing and drinking accusations have been removed from the impeachment effort, they've already done a lot of damage, says Pleban.
"He's got a family. He's got to live in that community," his attorney tells us. "He has a job beyond being the mayor. When you suggest to somebody that the mayor is a drunkard and drinking at meetings, drinking on the job, it's not a career enhancer."
Continue for more details on the impeachment effort and the full charges.
Paul took a polygraph test, said he did not drink on the job -- and passed, Pleban says.
"That allegation goes back to the summer of 2012. I can't imagine for the life of me, if somebody is drinking alcohol in the summer of 2012, why it would be coming out now almost a year later other than the purpose of running him out of office," he adds.
City Attorney Paul Martin told the Post-Dispatch that those charges were dropped because drinking alcohol and swearing are not impeachable offenses. (Martin did not return Daily RFT's request for comment yesterday).
While those charges were removed from the formal motion to impeach Paul -- who was suspended in the meantime -- a great deal of other accusations remain, some of which include somewhat wonky charter rule arguments.
Pleban says that when Paul originally campaigned, he ran on a platform against a Walmart development -- and that the backlash he is facing now is political. With City Council elections next month, Pleban says, his opponents want to oust him before there may not be enough members who oppose him due to term limits. (If he's not impeached, Paul's term will continue past the election).
There will be an impeachment hearing on March 27 on this matter, which is a civil administrative case.
One of the complaints that Pleban says is the most absurd is an allegation that he requested that "as mayor, he be issued a gun and a badge."
"The mayor asked if he got a badge and a gun...because he did not want a badge and a gun," Pleban says, explaining that he and his family wanted to make sure he wasn't going to bring home a gun.
He adds, "It's not more of an impeachable offense than flying to the moon."
Here's the City Council document that includes the impeachment accusations.