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Crismore was sandbagged by Libby City Council

| February 8, 2007 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

Stu Crismore was sandbagged.

Once he complained that he had a hard time making a meeting before 7 p.m. he sealed his own fate. Council scheduled every meeting after that for earlier times.

An unprecedented six meetings in the six weeks leading up to this fiasco were set for 6 p.m. The regular meetings are always at 7 p.m. as set in those pesky rules of procedure that the judge used to shoot this farce down.

The mayor and his henchmen wanted Mr. Crismore out of office and were willing to use brutal means to accomplish that goal. I watched them try similar illegal tactics on Councilman McElmurry.

They have definitely refined their efforts to stack the council with like-minded lackeys and bypass the electoral process. But they failed again thanks to Mr. Crismore's perseverance.

They knew that they had failed on Sept. 11, 2006, when they attempted to re-vote this issue, and they then knew they had violated their rules of procedure. They could have stopped then and avoided great expense in court costs. From that point on, they deceived the public and attempted to deceive the court.

Now that the case has cleared the courts, it has put the mayor and his appointees in a tight spot. The court has found that Mr. Crismore's assailants violated his right to due process; they violated their oath of office.

Do you see the beauty in this? These four people swore a public oath on taking office. They swore to protect and defend the Constitution. It's an option in the city of Libby to invoke the aid of God in your vow, and they all said the words "so help me God." Then they trashed the Constitution.

These pillars of our community staked out a position that Mr. Crismore should vacate his seat because of "open neglect of duties," and then violated his Constitutional rights. By refusing to follow their own rules of procedure, they openly neglected their duties.

If there is an ounce of integrity in this bunch, they will immediately announce their resignations. I don't expect that to happen, so let's examine where their actions are leading this community.

Their poorly planned and shoddily executed coup attempt has disrupted and destabilized our local government. If they don't resign, it will expose that this is a government of privilege, not principle. The rules are made for the little people and these four think they are above the very laws that they use like a sledgehammer against all who oppose them.

It will be another violation of their oath of office. Talk about a Catch 22 situation.

They broke this same rule of procedure when they appointed Mr. Bischoff to his seat. If his appointment is ruled invalid, it could invalidate all the action this council has taken since he took office. It could jeopardize funding for important projects like streetscape, port authority and the golf course.

It has made us the laughingstock of the state. We sit idly by while the mayor and his appointees attempt to remove the only councilman who was initially elected to his seat and they use illegal means to do so. More progressive communities must nervously look at the ground and bite their tongues to keep from laughing at us.

Then there is the time, effort and money spent on something that was never in the community's best interest. This could add up to $10,000 wasted. Money that could have been used for good causes.

Councilman Doug Roll asked Attorney Evans if they could be sued personally before he voted for expulsion. His big concern was not for you and me, the taxpayers, he just wanted immunity for himself. He doesn't mind reaching into your pocket to pay for this mess.

There is confusion that legal action equates with moral action. This council is constantly embroiled in disputes where their only justification is that the city attorney told them to take this action. Mr. Evans is making a pretty penny representing them, but I haven't seen any moral or legal victories.

The council can't hide in his skirts any longer; they are ultimately responsible for their actions as our representatives. Let's put them under the microscope to see what they hoped to gain in this.

I will be researching this. If there is any way that these four can be held personally liable for the court costs, we can use that as leverage to compel them to resign. This is going to be the topic of conversation for some time at council meetings.

My first request will be for a full accounting of all the costs associated with this train wreck.

I have studied humanist relativism enough to expect that they will apologize to Mr. Crismore. I can see it now. We're sorry we drug your name through the mud, questioned your heritage and sought to destroy your very soul; please forgive us. Watch out Stu, he's holding a hammer behind his back!

The next few council meetings may be the best entertainment Libby has seen in a while. I urge everyone who has reverence for, or even a shred of knowledge of our American form of government, to attend.

D.C. Orr