By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -
A city is kicking out one of its council members after he let a homeless man sleep at City Hall.
Councilman David Morrison was visibly shaken as he tried to explain why he allowed a longtime friend to spend the night in restricted areas after hours for three days.
He asked his colleagues to allow him to continue to serve the city, but in the end, they decided unanimously to oust him from the council.
The decision came after council members grilled Morrison. They then went into a closed door session to discuss his fate.
"I made a huge mistake. I recognize that now. I am so sorry. I can't begin to tell you and the council, the city, the city staff and the mayor," the embattled city councilman said.
Morrison made no attempt to hide the fact that he gave his City Hall access code to his homeless friend, Kelly Malone, who has a criminal record and a history of drug addiction.
City staff discovered Malone sitting in a break room at 7 a.m. Oct. 31, prompting the city attorney to file a formal ethics complaint.
Malone also made more than $9 worth of long distance phone calls while at city hall. Morrison paid it back.
Police investigated and realized Malone had access to restricted areas of the building, public records and even the mayor's office. But the biggest concern came from female employees who felt they were put in danger.
"The feel I got was that the office was violated," finance director Lisa Santamaria said.
Morrison told the council that he was simply trying to help his friend, who apparently feared for his life. But his pleas fell on deaf ears.
Morrison will actually stay on until the mayor and a majority of the council agree on a replacement. That person will then serve out the remainder of Morrison's term.
The city attorney said she can't remember the last time a councilman was ousted. The case will now go to the district attorney. There is no word on a timeline for replacing Morrison.
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