Hannibal councilman’s impeachment hearing pushed back to later date
HANNIBAL (WGEM) - The first hearing of an impeachment for a Hannibal councilman, accused of assaulting and harassing the city clerk and city manager, was set to take place at the Hannibal City Council meeting Tuesday night, but that did not happen.
Mayor James Hark said city officials decided to push back the hearing to a later date because two members of council had scheduling conflicts and 3rd Ward Councilman, Stephan Franke, the person accused, and his attorney were not present.
“Both sides have agreed that they need more time to collect data, interview witnesses and such just preparing for the hearing. This is done as much for the city and the respondent in this manner,” Hark said.
Special prosecutor assigned to represent the city, Nicole Volkert, said Hark presented new articles of impeachment at the council meeting.
Volkert said they removed article two for procedural reasons to make for a more expedient hearing and split article 1a and 1b into two separate articles that would make it more clear that Franke’s accused actions had to do with gender discrimination that created a “hostile work environment.”
“So there are new articles of impeachment. There’s two articles. The change in the articles was really procedural, and it’s just done mostly to make the case more efficient so that we can proceed more efficiently when it does take place,” Volkert said.
Volkert chose to rest the hearing until all parties involved could be present.
Hark said once a date is set, the hearing will be held at the city hall.
He said they anticipate it will take several hours so they’re considering starting earlier in the afternoon instead of at night during a council meeting.
WGEM reached out to Franke, but have not yet heard back from him.
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