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READY, SET, SHRED: Aldermen React to Leadership Shakeup
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Some at city hall say there's a distrust growing in city government. There's a growing call for the release of executive session tapes where Alderman Frank Edwards claims the mayor denied talking to Internal Affairs prior to the destruction of IA records. Some are even suggesting the distrust will have an impact on the Springfield Police Department's ability to do its job.
In light of today's developments, Springfield city aldermen say they have a laundry list of questions for Mayor Houston.
"A lot of people, like Frank, believe a special meeting is needed," Ward 7 Alderman Joe McMenamin said. "There will be a lot of schedule conflicts next week. We need as many aldermen there as possible. We need a closed-door meeting, so we can talk candidly with the mayor present."
"We all went in to executive session," Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards said. "You think you're going to be candid in those executive sessions. I felt we were misled. And when the mayor sits there and doesn't tell us and be frank and say 'and I had some concerns.' Because I think one of the things that came out of the meeting was, 'You're going to tell us that nobody raised the question saying we shouldn't do this?' And that's why I think I want the tapes released. So people can get, 'Well, they were trying to ask the questions. They weren't getting very far, but they were asking them.'"
We've also heard from other aldermen.
Sam Cahnman says, "Police Chief Robert Williams and Corporation Counsel Mark Cullen did the right thing today by accepting responsibility. I'm confident we can find a good new police chief from within the ranks and a good new city attorney from the ranks of local lawyers, and work together to get our city back on the course of moving in the right direction."
Doris Turner says, "The resignation of Mark Cullen and the retirement of Chief Williams notwithstanding, there are still a lot of unanswered questions for which aldermen have been seeking answers. Mayor Houston must have a very open, honest, and frank discussion with aldermen regarding this entire issue. Aldermen should not have learned the details of this through a news outlet; we asked the questions, but were not given honest answers."