A local television station has filed a formal complaint with the Johnson County District Attorney’s office regarding a Prairie Village City Council executive session.
KCTV 5 filed the complaint, saying the executive session held Nov. 19 in regard to Councilman David Morrison violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act.
Prairie Village City Attorney Catherine Logan said she was informed of the complaint by District Attorney Steve Howe.
The executive session was held by the committee of the whole. Following the session, the committee voted unanimously to direct the mayor to submit a letter to the Howe asking him to take steps to oust Morrison for violations of the city’s ethics code.
The committee determined that Morrison violated two provisions of the code by allowing his friend Kelly Malone, a homeless man with a criminal record, to spend three nights in City Hall. Morrison provided Malone with his security access code and allowed him to stay in City Hall alone and unsupervised.
Logan said that she discussed the Nov. 19 executive session with Howe before the committee meeting. He said it would be legal because it falls under the open meetings act provision that allows a public body acting in a quasi judicial manner to deliberate in executive session, she said.
Logan said that one unusual aspect of the TV station’s letter to the district attorney’s office was that it stated that a KCTV5 reporter objected to the executive session. Logan said no objections were voiced either before or after the session.
Howe has taken no action in regard to Morrison’s dismissal, Logan said. Howe told her last week that the case has been assigned to an assistant district attorney. A decision is expected in a couple of weeks.
Morrison will remain on the council until action is taken by the Howe. If he is removed, Mayor Ron Shaffer will appoint someone to fill Morrison’s term. He was elected to a four-year term in April. If no action is taken, Morrison will remain on the council.
Morrison stepped down from his role as council president in November. Councilman Charles Clark, who held the position prior to the start of Morrison’s term in April, has been serving as council president.
On Monday night, Clark was unanimously elected to serve as council president until city elections in April.