Springfield's top city attorney has submitted his resignation after helping the mayor and aldermen through a difficult legal battle.
Mayor Mike Houston appointed Mehlick this summer, following the departure of former Corporation Counsel Mark Cullen. Cullen and other city officials are named in the lawsuit filed on behalf of Springfield resident Calvin Christian. Christian accuses them of knowingly and intentionally destroying the documents he was seeking through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The City of Springfield could be close to settling a lawsuit over destruction of police records. Springfield Mayor Mike Houston has filed an ordinance that would settle the case for $102,964.10.
Aldermen could vote on it Tuesday night. The proposal says Calvin Christian, who filed the suit, would receive about $30,000 while his attorneys would get much of the remainder. Christian took the city to court after documents he had sought under the Freedom of Information Act were destroyed. The city would admit no wrongdoing under the deal.
Mike Houston says the court system doesn't appreciate when cases are "tried in public", and Springfield's mayor suggests "unethical" leaks of sworn testimony to the media are doing that by "coloring the situation".
The situation is the ongoing lawsuit filed by local newspaper columnist Calvin Christian, which claims the city destroyed dozens of documents he was seeking through the Freedom of Information Act.
Members of the Springfield City Council are looking for a way to prevent further incidents like the one in April in which police records were apparently shredded or deleted after they were requested by a local reporter through the Freedom of Information Act.
Tuesday night aldermen passed out of committee an ordinance that would require all changes to union contracts be approved by the Council and signed by the Mayor. Such contractual changes are known as memorandums of understanding, or MOUs.
Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says he's gathering more information about events last month that triggered allegations that the city destroyed files sought in a Freedom of Information Act Request.
Attorneys for Springfield resident Calvin Christian say the police department violated a state public records retention law last month by destroying dozens of internal affairs files subject to a FOIA request filed by Christian.