PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan.– Late Friday afternoon a Johnson County Judge ruled to remove Prairie Village Councilman David Morrison from office a week after a jury made that recommendation. Minutes after reading the 25 page decision by Judge David Hauber, Morrison said he was dissapointed, but respected Judge Hauber’s decision.
“There was no question it was bad judgment on my part, I apologized to the council, and to the staff, and the city, and they found it was an ousterable offense,” said Morrison.
Morrison said he had his reasons for letting his friend stay in city hall and reasons for giving him key code access to the building. However, if he could do it all over again, he wouldn’t have let Kelly Malone sleep in city hall.
“If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t. In the end I have to answer to a higher authority than the Prairie Village City Council,” said Morrison.
Prairie Village Mayor Ron Shaffer said he hasn’t read the full 25 page decision by Judge Hauber and plans to spend the weekend reviewing it with city attorneys.
“This is new territory for us, the language is pretty explicit that he be ousted,” said Shaffer. “We are trying to get information from the county regarding what that means for Mr. Morrison and for us.”
While no crime was committed by Morrision, Judge Hauber’s decision cites that the councilman violated the law, ignored common sense and failed to tell the truth.
While Morrison acknowledges his mistake, he said he didn’t deserve this punishment.
“Did it rise to the level of ouster for letting a homeless guy stay the night? There was no personal gain or benefit, nothing was disturbed, and no harm done. To me that’s no harm, no foul,” said Morrison.
Morrison said he plans to review the full ruling to see if he can appeal the decision to remove him from office and says he will considering running for council again.
The city now must move forward filling Morrison’s seat. Mayor Shaffer said he’ll review qualified candidates, present them to full council. Council will vote and the new selection would start immediately. Shaffer added that process won’t begin for weeks.