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(A) Elected officials and members of Boards and Commissions shall be removed for cause as provided in this Section of the Charter.
(B) A used in this Section of the Charter, the "Charging Official" shall mean: the "Mayor" except where the person accused of a grounds for removal is the person holding the office of Mayor; or the "President of Council" where the person sought to be removed for cause holds the office of Mayor.
(C) The Charging Official, if he or she has reason to believe there is probable cause (as such causes are defined in the Section 11.01 ) for the removal of an elected official or member of a Board or Commission, shall give notice of the alleged cause for removal, which shall not be earlier than ten days after the service of the notice, to the accused person by personal service, certified mail, or by leaving a copy of such notice at the person’s last known place of residence in the Municipality. At such time, date and place and at any adjourned meetings, the Council shall hear, provide an opportunity to the accused person to be heard and present defenses, and determine whether the accused person shall be removed from his or her office. The Council shall remove an official for any of the following causes by a three-fourths vote of the members of Council, provided that if the accused person is a member of Council, such person shall not vote on any matter during the removal procedure and shall not be counted in determining required majorities:
(1) Unexcused absences from any four consecutive regular meetings of the Council or the Board or Commission on which such person serves or any six regular or special meetings thereof in any year, provided the accused person received notice of special meetings. An absence from a regular or special meeting may be excused by a majority vote of the members of the Council or the Board or Commission on which such person serves at any time, including the excusing of any absence after action is initiated but prior to the commencement of hearings for the person’s removal under this Section.
(2) A determination that the accused person is guilty of misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in office.
(D) Upon the removal of an official from office pursuant to this Section, the office of the offending person shall be vacant, subject to any appeal to and review by an appropriate court, and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in this Charter.
(E) The removal of an official or the occurrence of any of the causes permitting the removal shall not invalidate any action of the official or any body, including the Council, in which the member participated. The subsequent removal of a person who fills a vacancy created pursuant to this Section by the reinstatement by a court of a person previously removed by the Council, shall not invalidate any action of the person who filled the vacancy or any body, including the Council, in which such person who filled the vacancy participated.
(F) The Council shall be the judge of the qualifications of and of the grounds for removal from office and shall conduct the proceedings relative to removal. The Council shall have the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of evidence, either on its own motion or through the process of any appropriate court or officer thereof. A person charged with conduct constituting grounds for removal from office shall be entitled to a public hearing and a record of the proceedings shall be made and preserved. A notice of the hearing shall be published in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the Municipality at least one week in advance of the hearing, and in such an event, the Mayor, or other presiding officer of the Council, may schedule the time, date and place of the hearing set by the Charging Official to accommodate the publication of the notice. If the hearing is rescheduled, the Mayor or other presiding officer, shall notify the accused person of such fact. Decisions made by the Council under this Section shall be subject to review by the courts on matters of law and whether the Council acted arbitrarily and without probative evidence to support the grounds for removal.
(G) The Director of Law shall prosecute the removal proceedings before the Council and any review thereof by the courts. If a person accused is not finally removed, the Municipality shall pay the reasonable costs of the defense of such person and any compensation withheld pending the appeal of the action of the Council.
(Amended November 3, 2015)