Friday, July 28, 2000

Ludlow presses mayor

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        LUDLOW — City Council is giving Mayor Tom Stacy one week to cooperate with a review of whether he should be removed from office for absenteeism.

        Council voted Thursday to send Mr. Stacy a formal letter requesting he cooperate with the law firm of Greenebaum Doll & McDonald, which the city hired this month to conduct the review.

        “I'd say we take another week,” Councilman Ben Cloud said. “If that doesn't work, we should take some kind of legal action.”

        Special Counsel Rob Hudson said Mr. Stacy has shown some level of activity involving city operations despite medical problems. He said Mr. Stacy has communicated with city employees via e-mail.

        But Mr. Hudson also said Mr. Stacy has not fully cooperated with requests for copies of the e-mails and has instructed Police Chief Tom Collins not to cooperate with him.

        “At the outset we were assured by the mayor's attorney (Eric Deters) full cooperation,” Mr. Hudson said. “We have received anything but full cooperation.”

        Mr. Stacy, who did not attend Thursday's council meeting, referred questions to Mr. Deters, who said he had not talked to Mr. Stacy this week.

        “If Tom Stacy is going to listen to me as his legal council, he is going to cooperate,” Mr. Deters said. “The truth will keep him as mayor. The truth is, he's been active despite his illness.”

        Councilman Ron Wofford said the city could end up spending $10,000 for Mr. Hudson's work.

        In addition to the e-mails, Mr. Hudson said he has requested information on Mr. Stacy's health status and prognosis and evidence of activity in city business. He said he conducted a partial interview with Mr. Stacy and several city employees, with little results.

        “What should have taken eight to 10 hours is dragging on and on and on for lack of simple cooperation,” Mr. Hudson said.

        The city postponed a hearing this month to discuss Mr. Stacy's ouster. Mr. Hudson was retained to review whether the mayor has participated in managing the city for the past 60 days or so.

        According to city records, Mr. Stacy last attended a council meeting on April 27. Council members Sharon Dietz and Fred Brooks were also absent Thurs day.

        Mr. Stacy said in a statement at council's July 13 meeting he informed City Attorney Pete Summe of his medical problems. Mr. Summe is staying out of the present dispute with council because he said there is a conflict of interest.

        Mr. Hudson said he should be able to present a final report at council's Aug. 10 meeting. As he left the Ludlow Senior Center, 20-year resident Chris Anderson told Mr. Hudson how upset she is over the entire situation.

        “I'll tell you this,” Ms. Anderson said. “(Council) ought to be paying this out of their own pockets. I'm very angry.”


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