Carter Lake city clerk, attorney ousted by city council

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CARTER LAKE, Iowa (AP) — The Carter Lake City Council has ended the contracts of the city attorney and city clerk after a dispute about whether a newly elected council member can also work for the city's library.

The Daily Nonpareil ( ) reports that the council voted to not renew the contracts of City Clerk Doreen Mowery and City Attorney Joe Thornton Monday.

"There was no indication they were not pleased with the job I was doing," Thornton said.

Mowery said that she had advised Mary Schomer and Carter Lake Mayor Gerald Waltrip that it wouldn't be legal for Schomer to serve on the City Council and work for the city.

Mowery said that she looked into the matter after Schomer was elected and forwarded the information to Thornton, who issued a legal opinion affirming the illegality of holding both positions.

According to Mowery, Schomer, Waltrip and the rest of the council were given copies of the legal opinion on Nov. 10. Schomer was sworn in as a council member on Dec. 31.

Waltrip said that Schomer had consulted with the Iowa Secretary of State's Office before the election, saying the office advised that she could serve in the council and abstain from votes related to the library.

Schomer said that the city clerk should not have brought up Thornton's memo at the meeting because it was a confidential matter, and that that she did not break any laws.

Council member Pat Paterson said that any decision regarding Schomer's position would be made by the Pottawattamie County Attorney's Office and the state election committee.


Information from: The Daily Nonpareil,

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