By Aaryn Valenzuela
In May, Brady voters will cast ballots on whether or not to recall Brady City Mayor Gail Lohn.At issue is whether the Brady Mayor is misappropriating tax dollars, and violating citizen's civil rights. Brady residents elected her as mayor in 2010. Brady resident Sheila Hemphill claims the mayor, and city officials, have violated her civil rights.
"What started as an isolated incident on smart meters grew into obstruction of my rights to petition my individuals, well then this is not an isolated incident for this particular council, in that other people have exhibited the same type of behavior from the city council to inhibit their ability to communicate for the last two years," says Sheila Hemphill, a long-time Brady Resident.
Last month Hemphill presented a petition to have the mayor removed from office, but that petition was rejected by the Brady City Attorney because of insufficient grounds.
"We were surprised when we looked through all the factual allegations that none of them in our opinion met our definition, they were things that the people disagreed with that the mayor had done or things that they thought were improper," says Monte Akers, the Interim City Attorney.
After that hemphill and her group filed a "Writ of Mandamus", and the case was heard by Third Court of Appeals Justices, they ruled in their favor of the recall. It is now on the may Brady city election ballot.
"Two of the three justices sided with the petitioners, and held that in their words, even though the Brady charter is quote ambiguous at best, they went ahead and ordered the city secretary and the council to call the recall election."
Mayor Lohn declined to comment on camera. She only has a year left in office, so if they are enough votes to support a recall, the city will have to hold a special election.