Special counsel to investigate Valley Park Mayor and City Attorney

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by John Knicely / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 17 at 7:59 AM

VALLEY PARK, Mo (KMOV.com) – The saga of embattled Valley Park Mayor Nathan Grellner could be nearing resolution.

On Monday night the Board of Aldermen appointed attorney Chet Pleban to investigate Mayor Grellner and City Attorney Eric Martin for wrongdoing. And the board discussed impeachment procedures depending on the outcome.

Police say Grellner was combative when he was pulled over on June 5, and allegedly spit on an officer during an arrest for a suspected DUI.

On June 18, Grellner was accused of using city money for personal use, and received a vote of no confidence from city aldermen.

Grellner later admitted to using the city credit card for a trip to the strip club and to purchase a new washer and dryer. He repaid the money, and stated he mistakenly used the city card instead of his own.

Monday night, citizens called for impeachment as the mayor refused to step down.

"It's kind of like 'mayors gone wild,'" said Valley Park resident Pat Fox. "What am I going to hear on the news next week?  So if we can get our good reputation back because Valley Park is a great place to live but we have some bad seeds.”

Mayor Grellner was once again absent. He has refused the calls for him to step down as mayor.  On Friday our partners at the Post-Dispatch reported that Grellner was in the hospital for three days being treated for methamphetamine abuse.

City Attorney Eric Martin was temporarily removed from his position during the investigation. Residents and some board members expressed concern about how Martin handled the credit card issue when he discovered it. But before he left the meeting Monday he got in a verbal argument with Chet Pleban, the man hired to investigate him, about procedural issues. Both men took verbal jabs at each other in front of the overflow crowd.

When asked his thoughts on the board's decision Martin said, “No comment.”  He expressed his disbelief to the board over the fact that he’s being investigated along with Mayor Grellner.

Mayor Grellner has not returned calls and has refused to comment.

Pleban says he will have the findings for the board’s next meeting on August 6.

 

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