New Carlisle’s mayor and vice mayor will remain in office after two separate motions that sought to remove them were withdrawn, an attorney representing the mayor said.
Mayor Ethan Reynolds faced accusations that he failed to properly file his taxes, although the taxes were automatically withdrawn from his account. William Lindsey, the city’s vice mayor, faced several accusations including that he asked the city manager about his sexual preference, made an inappropriate joke to Clark County deputies about a 2017 shooting of a photojournalist and at one point drove that photojournalist, Andy Grimm, to Grimm’s attorney’s office even though he knew the city was being sued.
However, separate motions filed to remove Reynolds and Lindsey from office were rescinded after a meeting earlier this month in which other council members determined the motions had little chance of success, said Brian Stewart, a Circleville attorney representing Reynolds in the case.
City council members Mike Lowery and Aaron Leighty, who filed the motions, could not be reached for comment. Stewart argued both motions were filed based on flimsy arguments and would have failed to gain enough votes for removal. Leighty and Lowery did not return calls seeking comment.
“Essentially you had a couple members who were heading down the tracks before they stopped to think about the merits of the charges or their likelihood for success,” Stewart said.
Stewart acknowledged that Reynolds had failed to file tax forms properly. But he said there was a miscommunication with Reyonolds’ accountant that led to the problem and it was since resolved. When the error was discovered Stewart said Reynolds paid about $80 in taxes that he still owed, compared to more about $3,000 that had been properly paid.
While the motions to remove the city’s mayor and vice mayor were separate, both were pulled for similar reasons, Stewart said.
“The grounds were equally flimsy and the same rationale that applied to make it unlikely to remove the mayor also applied to the vice mayor,” Stewart said. Lindsey declined to comment for the story.
Stewart said he believes the dispute has been resolved now that the motions were rescinded no further action will be taken.
Reynolds said he does not recall ever being notified about tax forms not being properly filed but said he has since corrected the issue. He said the attacks were politically motivated but he does not believe the dispute will impact his ability to work with other council members.
“This is a political issue,” Reynolds said. “It was brought up out of spite for politics. I am a bridge-builder and I will work with everybody I possibly can.”