City council attorney says hearing on mayor should move forward

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- The battle between Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and the City Council has shifted from the council chambers to court.

The attorney for the Green Bay city council says a hearing on whether to remove to mayor from office should go forward. This comes after the mayor's lawyer asked a judge to stop that hearing before it starts.

It all stems from a petition filed by a city resident who is asking the council to remove the mayor from office.

That petition was filed after the mayor was convicted of three misdemeanor campaign finances charges.

The council is scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter Monday.

But earlier this week, Schmitt's attorney asked a judge to put a stop to it because he says the council "…lacks jurisdiction and authority to proceed with a hearing on the petition for removal because the petition fails to allege any misconduct by Schmitt that meets the definition of 'cause' for removal…”

The council has hired its own attorney in the case.

“This simply has no business in court,” attorney Jeremy Levinson told FOX 11.

Levinson says the council is exactly where the matter should be handled. He says if the mayor is not happy with the outcome of the hearing, he should challenge it then.

“What the mayor is doing here is an end run around the process because he doesn't want to have to face the proceeding before the common council,” Levinson said.

“It seems clear to me,” said alderman Guy Zima. He expects the hearing to move forward, eventually.

“I'm certain that within if not next Monday, within a couple weeks, we'll have a hearing one way or another I believe,” Zima said.

“The attorney representing the council has to do what we want him to do which is protect our interests and the interests of all the citizens of this city,” added alderman Bill Galvin.

He says regardless of whether the hearing is held, the city needs to move on.

“I know personally, and I know many people, most of my constituents, they want this thing over with and they want the city to move forward,” Galvin said.

The Outagamie County judge who is handling the case is expected to review the court filings and issue a written decision on Monday. As of right now, the hearing is still scheduled for Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. at Green Bay city hall.

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