(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - There has been a major change and power shift on Lawrenceburg City Council.
Monday night, council voted to accept a letter of resignation from Democrat Councilman Doug Taylor. The letter dated March 14 was unanimously accepted.
Taylor’s resignation follows another letter he wrote to the Dearborn County prosecutor last week accusing city officials of breaking laws.
In his resignation letter, Taylor says his stepping down is part of the resolution of a 2011 criminal case against him. Taylor was charged in 2011 with Ghost Employment and Official Misconduct – both felonies – for allegedly appearing at a campaign event in his police uniform. According to a March 6 motion to call off a jury trial, Special Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Sigler suggested that a plea agreement was in the works.
Taylor’s resignation shifts the balance of power on council. Though the council is all-Democrat, Taylor had been part of a reform-seeking majority including Jane Pope and Mike Lawrence. Councilmen Bill-Bill Bruner and Aaron Cook had often voted against budget and financial decisions made by the majority.
Following Monday’s acceptance of Taylor’s resignation, Bruner and Cook voted to terminate the city council’s contract with a separate attorney, Nicholas Kyle of Barnes & Thornburg, and financial advisory firm Reedy Financial. Lawrence and Pope opposed the contract cancellations.
Mayor Dennis Carr voted with Bruner and Cook as the tiebreaker.
“That’s democracy,” Lawrence said following the meeting.
A Democrat caucus will be held to replace Taylor, said Dearborn County Democrat Party Chairman Jake Hoog. The caucus will include Lawrenceburg’s four precinct committee persons: councilwoman Jane Pope, former mayor Bill Cunningham, Jim Cunningham, and Lawrenceburg Chief of Police Gene Hunefeld, Sr.
Lawrenceburg residents interested in being a candidate to serve the remainder of Taylor’s term through 2015 will have about 30 days to file the proper paperwork at the Dearborn County Clerk of Courts Office, Hoog said.
When asked, Mayor Carr did not wish to respond to Taylor’s controversial letter to the county prosecutor. He did indicate, however, that a response from his office could be coming soon.