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Bellevue City Council passes law to sanction elected officials for misconduct

Posted at 10:18 PM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-03 23:18:27-05

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) — After months of debate, the Bellevue City Council passed an ordinance that would allow elected officials to discipline one another.

The move comes after a city council member is accused of making sexual and threatening comments to elected officials.

The Bellevue City Council continued to discuss the controversial proposal at a meeting on Tuesday, December 3.

The mandate would allow elected officials to remove another council member for 'bad behavior' with a unanimous vote.

However, some on the City Council do not feel that is their job.

"What this boils down to though is that us as a council... i just don't believe in the idea that we can remove another elected official," Councilmen Thomas Burns said. "I think that's wrong and I think that's really up to the people."

Council President Paul Cook says with recent misconduct allegations and reported harassment coming from an elected official, the city needs to immediately move forward with a way to discipline members.

"I sincerely hope we never have to use these ordinances, and it is unfortunate we are faced with this," Cook said. "At this time we have no way addressing these issues and they need to stop."

The conversation didn't stop there.

Councilman Pat Shannon moved to open the floor for another round of public hearing, even though the City has heard from the public multiple times.

"This has been going on for two months and the last two hearings we've had three public hearings," Cook said.

The Council did allow the public to comment again, however the conversation was to be about new changes to the ordinance.

After further discussion, the Council passed an amended version of the ordinance with different wording.

Instead of saying someone can be 'removed from office,' it now says they can be 'sanctioned.'

Only Pat Shannon voted against the ordinance.

Another ongoing topic regarding the Bellevue City Council, Shannon's push to recall council member Kathy Welch.

He claims, in part, she does not live in the jurisdiction.

Welch told us she would not comment on the recall yet.