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Home / Featured / Email to impeached mayor’s lawyer is enough notice, says Eastern District

Email to impeached mayor’s lawyer is enough notice, says Eastern District

A mayor of a city within St. Louis County held office for 14 days before the city council suspended and later impeached him for failing to pay past personal property taxes. The Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District upheld this decision, determining the mayor’s counsel failed to timely file his petition.

Darryl L. Williams was a 2019 write-in candidate for mayor of the City of Kinloch, which is located just east of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Prior to his election, the city clerk found that Williams had not paid personal property taxes in the last four years, though he had signed an affidavit that he had as part of his candidate application.

Kinloch notified Williams’ counsel via email of the city’s investigation into the matter and that it would notify counsel of impeachment and did so four days later on May 28. Williams and his counsel had 30 days to file his petition for judicial review but did so on July 15, nearly seven weeks later.

Before the St. Louis County Circuit Court, Williams claimed he received the board of aldermen’s findings of fact by June 18 via email, and his counsel received it in the mail by June 21. St. Louis County Circuit Court had accepted Williams’ case and had reversed the impeachment, and Kinloch appealed. Christopher Bent of Bent Law represents Kinloch and did not respond to a request for comment.

Williams’ counsel Donnell Smith of Smith & Associates in St. Louis did not file a brief in response. He did not respond to a call to his office requesting comment by press time.

In a Dec. 13 opinion, Judge Cristian M. Stevens wrote that the petition filing occurred too late because the May 28 email notice started the 30-day period, not later notifications.

“The uncontroverted fact is that Kinloch sent notice of the Board’s decision via email to Williams’s counsel on May 28, 2019,” Stevens wrote. “There is no evidence to the contrary.”

Judges Gary M. Gaertner and John P. Torbitzky concurred.

The case is Williams v. City of Kinloch et al., ED110298.