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Noel mayor submits letter of resignation - KOAM TV 7

Noel mayor submits letter of resignation

James Carroll James Carroll
Gene Thacker Gene Thacker

Updated October 11, 2012:  Noel Mayor James Carroll has submitted is letter of resignation.  That's according to Noel City Clerk Denae Murphy.

Murphy says Carroll's resignation is not immediate and must still be approved by the city's Board of Aldermen.

The city clerk tells us Mayor Carroll handed a torn up piece of paper to the director of the Street Division and said "I quit."

Again, the resignation is not final until the Board of Aldermens accept it at their next meeting.  The board will then appoint someone to the position.

Updated October 10, 2012:  Tuesday night's Noel board of aldermen meeting was held at the fire house after the mayor changed the locks at city hall.  City officials say Mayor James Carroll changed the locks at city hall sometime between the end of business day, 4 p.m., to 6 p.m., when individuals started to arrive for the meeting.

Once the meeting began, the aldermen amended the meeting's agenda to discuss the impeachment process of Mayor Carroll.  In addition to starting the impeachment process, the aldermen also voted to file an injunction against the mayor because they believe he is stopping employees from doing their day to day jobs.

On a related note, Noel's city attorney determined that under the law the aldermen's vote to reinstate City Clerk Denae Murphy overrides her suspension by the mayor.

Murphy is now back in the office.

A hearing date for Mayor Carroll will be set to follow due process.  That hearing has not been scheduled at this time.  The aldermen plan to officially provide Mayor Carroll with the impeachment file at that hearing.

Updated October 8, 2012:  The city clerk for Noel, Missouri is on suspension and says there is a lack of leadership on the executive level.

Last week the mayor of Noel and the town's marshal were charged with felonious restraint.

City Clerk Denae Murphy says she received a written notice from Mayor James Carroll last Tuesday morning saying she was on paid suspension "for failing to record the meeting and interfering with the conduct of the meeting."

Murphy says she did nothing wrong.

"I did not record the meeting with my digital recorder but there is nothing in our code that says it has to be vocally recorded," Murphy says.

In September, Mayor Carroll wanted to rezone a piece of commercial land to residential.  The motion failed in city council.

Later that month the mayor called for another meeting to vote on the same issue.  He called the city clerk less then 24 hours before he wanted the vote.

"The Missouri Sunshine Law says you can go ahead with the meeting, unless the notice is impossible, which he figured it was," says Murphy.

At least one council woman disagreed and refused to attend.

That's when Mayor Carroll sent the town's marshal to deliver Nancy Zeorlin to the meeting in handcuffs.

"I told him he was going to jail when he got into the room," says Councilman John Lafley.

That's the most aggressive Lafley says he was towards Mayor Carroll or anyone else.

The mayor and marshal were charged with felonious restraint.

Last week, council members voted to take the city clerk off suspension.  But the mayor didn't attend the meeting, instead, releasing a statement:

"Whereas, John Lafley has threatened my well being in a meeting, and demonstrated his violent nature by assaulting a police officer in City Hall... I find it in my best interest and safety not to be present at the meeting."

"I think it's slanderous," Lafley says of the statement.

Mayor Carroll did not want to be interviewed on camera but told us by phone that regardless of the council's vote his executive decision to suspend Murphy stays.

"The vote is still valid, as long as there's a quorum, it doesn't matter who runs the meeting," says Murphy.

Mayor Carroll says the city clerk will be on suspension for 10 days.

Both the mayor and marshal are scheduled to appear in court for the felonious restraint charges next Tuesday.

The mayor told us he's rescheduling a meeting over safety that was originally scheduled for Tuesday but council members say the meeting will go on, with or without the mayor.

In the meantime, the work for the city clerk continues to pile up.

"There's lots of city business that needs to be done right now," says Murphy.  "Minutes need to be typed, agendas have to go out."

Posted October 3, 2012:  A council meeting controversy in Noel, Missouri leads to felonious restraint charges against the mayor and town marshal.

Mayor James Carroll allegedly ordered officers to force city council woman Nancy Zeorlin to attend a meeting she felt was illegal under the Sunshine Law.

The mayor sent Marshal Gene Thacker and a deputy the morning of the meeting to forcefully bring the council-woman to it.

They allegedly then handcuffed Zeorlin under the mayor's orders.

The marshal and mayor have turned themselves in to the McDonald County Sheriff's Office and have been released.

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