Sunday, July 16, 2000

Decision on Ludlow mayor's fate is on hold

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LUDLOW — A hearing to consider whether Mayor Tom Stacy should be removed from office because of excessive absenteeism has been postponed.

        Ludlow City Council had set a hearing for Monday to consider evidence. However, council voted Thursday to postpone that hearing because the mayor's attorney will be on vacation.

        In the meantime, the law firm of Greenebaum Doll & McDonald has been retained to review whether the mayor has participated in the management of the city for the past 60 days or so.

        “Our goal is to review the facts and be able to report in some fashion (this) week,” said special counsel Rob Hudson. “If, in fact, (the mayor) has been actively engaged and involved in the management of the city, then council will have to decide whether failure to attend meetings is enough to remove him from office.”

        Last Monday, Ludlow City Council voted 5-1, with Councilwoman Sharon Dietz dissenting, to hold a hearing, after council members said the mayor had missed four regularly scheduled council meetings and three special meetings in two months.

        In a statement Mr. Stacy read at Thursday's council meeting, he said he informed City Attorney Pete Summe of his medical problems, and that Miss Dietz was the only council member to ask about his health.

        “He claims that he talked with Councilperson Dietz,” Mr. Hudson said. “And at some point, he talked with Pete Summe. But I think there was some point in time where the entire situation was a mystery. If I were in council's shoes, I would have the same concerns, and would at least want to have an investigation done to see whether they had an active mayor.”

        Since the council was elected nearly two years ago, the mayor and council majority in this city of 4,700 have often disagreed.

        Mr. Stacy told council Thursday that he expects to resolve his medical issues “within the next few weeks.” He did not elaborate on his medical condition.

        He added he “served with pride” as acting mayor in 1997, when former Mayor Jerry Holloway dealt with his own medical problems.

        “Jerry and I had disagreements ... but not once did I attempt to overturn a proper election,” Mr. Stacy said.


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