ST. LOUIS COUNTY ( – The fight over the control of the St. Louis County Council will head to court after last week's meeting took an unprecedented turn. 

St. Louis County filed a lawsuit against several of its council members after trying to remove Councilwoman Lisa Clancy as the chair. 

Clancy was voted last week to be the council chair. During the meeting, a majority of the council voted to revisit last week’s vote that let her keep that title because a councilperson with an expired term, Rochelle Walton Gray, participated in the vote.

A charter change approved by voters in August delayed the swearing-in of Gray’s successor. Gray’s term was set to expire at the end of 2020.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, Fitch told Clancy, “You are no longer the chair.”

Clancy and Fitch then went back-and-forth. When Clancy tried moving the meeting forward, Fitch interrupted.

“No ma’am, we are not going to allow you to move on to bid openings,” he said. “We have a motion on the floor, you cannot deny it.”

“Councilman Fitch, I will not allow you to bully this council,” Clancy responded. “You may have been a bully as the police chief, but you will not bully this council.”

News 4 spoke with Fitch after the meeting adjourned just after 7 p.m.

“Lisa Clancy actually had the police called to have me removed, obviously they declined to do that. That didn’t work for her, so she told the person running the meeting to cut off my microphone. That didn’t work either because I knew how to put it back on, I knew how to unmute myself. So, she just refused to recognize the fact that she wasn’t the chair anymore," he said.

Fitch also said Councilman Ernie Trakas, who was in his view was illegally voted as vice chair, lost that position too. The St. Louis County Executive’s Office claims the vote has no legal weight. 

Several Republican members held a special session Fricay to vote Clancy out of the chair. They were upset that she was voted chair before new members were sworn in.

In response, Clancy said she has "requested legislation to allow voters to consider a change of our Charter so that the swearing in of new councilmembers coincides with our first meeting of the year."

The next County Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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