New effort underway to remove Kansas City mayor from office after police funding lawsuit

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Others have tried and failed but now a new effort to remove Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has begun.

A woman has filed her own motion to intervene and is asking the judge in the police funding lawsuit to add something to his ruling.

Laura Waldon said she wrote and filed her own motion, asking Jackson County Judge Patrick Campbell to finish what he started.

“We’re just asking for when our elective representatives violate state statute that they’re held accountable the same way you or I may be,” Waldon said.

Last month Campbell ruled Lucas and the city council violated Missouri law by passing two ordinances reallocating $42 million from the current Kansas City Police Department’s budget.

But in her motion, Waldon argues the judge didn’t go far enough and that another state statute requires him to remove anyone who obstructed state control of KCPD as outlined by state law.

“We looked at the statute and saw clearly that half of the sentence was enforced by the judge,” Ken Auman, American Legal Projects Founder, said.

The mayor and council members who voted to reallocate the police money argued it was to achieve some local control and accountability.

The mayor has long supported a return of police control to the city, but in seeking to block the move, the Board of Police Commissioners lawsuit did not seek fines or the removal of the mayor or anyone else involved.

“We waited for 10 days after we filed it and to see if the other parties would jump in, and I think they’re a little nervous about what to say and not say right now,” Auman said.

So far, the mayor and city council have not filed a response to Waldon’s motion.

The judge in the case has not set a hearing, nor ruled on her move to intervene in the case.

“I think it’s very important that they don’t just preach accountability and transparency but that they act that way on behalf of the citizens,” Waldon said.

The mayor’s office sent the following statement on the motion:

“Under Missouri law, the mayor is not a public official subject to the removal remedy. The mayor isn’t going anywhere. On the merits, in the ruling based on a timing concern, the court advised that the City can actually—as intended—negotiate concerning any funding beyond 20 percent, just it must be during the regular budget cycle. As it is currently the regular budget cycle, the mayor looks forward to working with the police department and the community to best allocate funds to enhance the safety of all Kansas Citians. On the removal point as to Council and other officials, throughout the pendency of litigation, the Council, mayor, and police board agreed to stay the enforcement of the ordinances until the court’s ruling. Given the agreed stay of enforcement, there was no hindrance on police board discretion. On these facts, no Missouri court would rule that a statute meant to address City-funded 1930s bootleggers and mobsters would apply to a legal dispute where the parties agreed to the fairly calm litigation course of action.”

Waldon said if her motion fails she will turn to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

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