NEW CUMBERLAND – The mayor of Chester says the dereliction of duty charges leveled at him by five city council members violate procedural rules and are thus invalid.

Larry Forsythe filed July 20 in Hancock Circuit Court against Mike Dotson, John C. Woodruff, Steve Shuman, Edward Beaumont and Brad Anderson.

During a July 6 meeting of the Chester City Council, council members Dotson, Woodruff, Shuman, Beaumont and Anderson issued five dereliction of duty citations against Forsythe, Chester’s acting mayor, the complaint states.

The mayor claims that under state law, there is no provision for charging an officer with dereliction of duty. The charges are also invalid, Forsythe says, because the members did not deliberate or vote on them during a public meeting, as council rules require.

In addition to refusing to sign employee paychecks, a check for fire department insurance and a lease for a new dump truck, the council members accused the mayor of failing to call a vote at a meeting and of disclosing private information about hiring a new city clerk of courts.

Forsythe seeks a jury trial, annulment of the dereliction charges, punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, and litigation costs. He is represented by Thomas J. Decapio and Kevin M. Pearl of the Chester law firm of Frankovitch, Anetakis, Colantonio & Simon. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David J. Sims.

Hancock Circuit Court case number 15-C-83S

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Frankovitch, Anetakis, Colantonio & Simon

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