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Mayor Gets Heated As City Lawsuits, Investigations Mount
Mayor Gets Heated As City Lawsuits, Investigations Mount

So many lawsuits, so little time. The city of Springfield is facing so much legal action it’s getting hard to keep track. WTAX’s Alex Degman reports.

Mayor Mike Houston had no time for reporters after the city council meeting, slamming a stairwell door when asked about the police shredding scandal.

One suit, which the city just lost, says police must release documents the department tried to keep secret from a reporter, Calvin Christian III. Some documents may contain information about Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher’s 2008 Missouri arrest on gun charges.

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Springfield Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards (right) and Calvin Christian III (left) joined the Ray Lytle show Tuesday. Christian has successfully sued the city twice for FOIA violations.

Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards told WTAX’s Ray Lytle show Tuesday afternoon that both Buscher and Chief Robert Williams should step aside for now.

“It’s tough to leave people in charge of those departments that are going to control people that are going to be asked, interviewed, give us documents,” Edwards told Lytle. “It just doesn’t set well.”

The action of shredding is the subject of a separate lawsuit, which a judge last week said could continue despite the city’s motion to dismiss.

In another lawsuit, it’s claimed the city illegally chose a healthcare administrator behind closed doors. Edwards suggested the ordinance be held in committee.

“We’re in a lawsuit and stuff, and let’s just kind of take a break and see where we’re at from there,” said Edwards. “We just had a judge that said the Open Meetings Act [was violated], we’re going to pay some attorney’s fees. So let’s move on from there.”

To listen to an interview with Calvin Christian III, who has now successfully sued the city twice, click play on the audio link below.