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Alderman: City Attorney Unqualified to Hold Position
Alderman: City Attorney Unqualified to Hold Position

At least one Springfield alderman thinks his ordinances aren’t being drafted due to a conflict of interest.

Ward 7 Alderman Joe McMenamin wants temporary cabinet appointments to be in office no more than six months, but the city’s acting corporation counsel, John Mehlick won’t do it. McMenamin says Mehlick, a temporary appointment himself, isn’t qualified for his position to begin with.

“The city code requires residency,” McMenamin told WTAX’s Ray Lytle. “For the mayor to purposely put someone in that position who’s not a resident when the mayor’s thinking, ‘oh maybe this guy will last 18 months in that position,’ I think shows bad faith in the city code.”

The mayor says Mehlick has a Springfield address, but it’s not located within Springfield city limits — that, and, Mehlick is acting corporation counsel, not permanent.

Both Mayor Houston and Mehlick contend there are questions of “legal sufficiency” on such ordinances, and no decision on that’s yet been made. McMenamin isn’t impressed.

“[Mehlick] and Mayor Houston are acting in bad faith and abusing the ‘legal sufficiency’ requirement,” McMenamin said. “They are preventing ordinances from being debated and voted. ┬áIf Mayor Houston disapproves of an ordinance, he can always veto it.”