GLENN HEIGHTS—Mayor Leon Tate was removed from his seat late Tuesday night. The removal was decided in a 5 – 1 vote of the city council members. The vote was called well after midnight following six hours of testimony from former and current city employees.
Last night’s testimony was a continuance of the public hearing which began on October 2.
In a surprise move, after closing arguments at about 12:30 a.m. Tate handed the City Secretary Juanita Willman, which she then read to council and audience members. Within the note Tate announced his intention to resign his post as mayor of Glenn Heights.
Council Denies Resignation Request
City Council members were asked to consider the resignation, but ultimately all but one member, Mayor Pro Tem Tony Bradley, voted not to accept the resignation. Instead the vote to have Tate removed from his seat continued. Tate was charged with five counts of violations of the Home Rule Charter and City Ordinances.
Witnesses were asked questions about his working relationship with the current City Manager David Hall, with whom Tate allegedly did not agree with hiring. There were also claims that Tate overstepped in his mayoral role directing employees; and his decorum during the city council meetings was inhibited the work of governance.
Originally the hearing was scheduled to begin on September 18. It was then postponed until October 2. On October 2 when the hearing was still nowhere near being finished just after midnight, it was decided the hearing would continue this week.
Mayor Pro Tem Tony Bradley said from the beginning he felt like the hearing proceedings were going too fast. He also said he did not think it was “fair to make it up as we go while we are executing it.”
Bradley said he voted against removing the mayor last night because he said he did not believe the charges and the evidence presented reached the level to remove an elected official.
Tate said earlier this month he believed the hearing was an unlawful act. He also threatened litigation in the future and said the hearing was a violation of the Glenn Heights City Charter.
It is not certain when the city will hold an election to fill the mayoral seat. A special election will have to be called and in the interim it falls to Mayor Pro Tem Tony Bradley to lead the council.