Small town mayor breaking law, not arrested

WELLSTON, Mo. - A small town saga takes a new twist, as a much-criticized mayor publicly takes the oath of office.

The mayor was already impeached, and now she's possibly breaking law by returning, this time with her husband on the city council. Now some residents are asking why the mayor hasn't been arrested.

It's a question that has been brought up to the Wellston police chief since she was re-elected last month. Some say she's breaking a new ordinance that states if you are impeached you can't hold office again.

Breaking a law or not, Thursday night Linda Whitfield was sitting in the Mayor's seat at a village board meeting. NewsChannel 5 tried to question her about the validity of her re-election.

Reporter: "Are you breaking an ordinance, just answer me that question, can anybody answer that question? Is the mayor breaking an ordinance?

No answer from the Mayor Whitfield.

Reporter: "You don't believe that she's violating the ordinance?"

Board member Janet Dixon: "No she's not."

But Chief of Police G. Thomas Walker disagrees.

"Based on my knowledge of it is a violation of the ordinance," said the chief.

The city council passed an ordinance stating once impeached you can not hold that office again. Whitfield was impeached and then re-elected.

Chief Walker says he's had residents ask him to arrest Whitfield for violating the ordinance, he says they are waiting on a legal hearing that will determine Whitfield's fate.

"Whether or not the ordinance that the city had passed regarding the mayor being able to assume her seat is valid or not," said the chief.

Thursday night she and her husband were publicly sworn into office. One as board member and one as mayor.

The hearing that will determine the mayor's fate was rescheduled to this coming Monday morning.


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