No quorum at Ashland impeachment hearing---again

Ashland mayor Gene Rhorer, facing the camera, calls the roll at Monday's Board of Aldermen meeting. Four of the city's six aldermen did not attend, forcing Rhorer to end the meeting.

Another attempt to discuss impeachment articles against an Ashland alderman was in vain Monday as most of the city's aldermen did not show up.

Mayor Gene Rhorer said Monday was the third time he had called a special meeting to discuss impeachment articles against Ward 2 Alderman Jeff Anderson only to end the meeting due to a lack of particpation. He said he was getting tired of calling special meetings on the subject and not getting a quorum.

"I'm working with a dysfunctional board," he told KRCG 13 earlier in the day. "They seem to want to pick and choose when they want to meet."

Absent from Monday's meeting were First Ward Aldermen David Thomas and Louise Martin, Second Ward Alderman John Hills, and Third Ward Alderman Carl Long. The same four aldermen have not shown up to prior special meetings. City records show this is the same group that approved impeachment articles against Anderson on Oct. 29. Hills, Thomas and Martin also voted against a motion to drop the impeachment proceedings at the board's Dec. 3 meeting. Long was not present at that meeting.

Following Monday's abortive meeting, Anderson told reporters he still had no idea why he was being impeached. He said while he knows what the general charges are against him--abusive behavior, exceeding his authority, casting the board and the city in a bad light--he does not know what specifically these charges relate to. Anderson's attorney has filed a motion asking to disqualify the Board of Aldermen as a board of impeachment because the aldermen are necessary witnesses and cannot be considered an impartial tribunal. The motion alleges Hills has met with aldermen individually

None of the four aldermen returned calls seeking comment following Monday's meeting, although Hills told KRCG 13 Monday afternoon he had been advised not to discuss the impeachment articles in a public forum, at least not without an attorney present.

Rhorer said the city had spent about $20,000 in legal fees so far due to the case. He said he has asked that a date and time be set for an impeachment hearing as soon as possible.