INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The city of Independence swore in a new mayor and city council Monday night.
That body already has a big looming decision on how to fill a seat after the death of a recently re-elected member, Karen DeLuccie.
DeLuccie, 64, died of lung cancer a week after winning re-election on April 5.
Incoming mayor, Rory Rowland, said the process of filling the seat is proceeding as normal despite outgoing councilmember Mike Huff’s lawsuit.
“You just proceed,” Rowland said. “I want to remember my friend, Karen.”
The council heard the first reading of an ordinance Monday that would fill the seat through the Primary Election August 2 and the General Election November 8. The Primary becomes the main election if only two candidates file.
“I’m grateful for my supporters, and this is only the beginning,” Huff told FOX4.
Jared Fears got the second-most votes behind DeLuccie and there are two at-large seats. Fears was sworn in Monday night.
Huff said the city charter supports him in occupying the second at-large seat. Huff filed the lawsuit two days after DeLuccie’s death.
“It’s all about the clarifying the charter language. That’s all it’s about,” Huff said. “It has nothing to do with any particular person, and we’re expecting some pretty swift, quick judgment here shortly.”
The clock is ticking for Huff. The ordinance could pass at a second reading May 2.
Huff said he believes his lawsuit will move quickly, and he’s not worried about that deadline.
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