Judge overturns city council’s decision to remove Muscatine Mayor

MUSCATINE, Iowa -- A District Court Judge has ruled in favor of Mayor Diana Broderson.

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The Muscatine City Council voted to remove Mayor Broderson back in May of this year, but a judge has ruled to overturn that decision.

"It's not only a win for us but it's a win for the people, I think it really holds our constitution to show that it's the will of the people that elect their elected officials," said Broderson.

According to the judge, the city council's vote to impeach her was a violation of her right to due process.

The city and city council now have to pay all of the mayor's legal fees.

"We believe that the bills are already over half-a-million dollars, that's a lot of taxpayers money that could have been used for much more," said Broderson.

The power struggle started in January of 2016 when Mayor Broderson took office after defeating longtime Mayor DeWayne Hopkins.

Broderson says council members became angry when she asked questions she'd heard from other residents, "Seven men can't make their voice go away," said Broderson.

The council then chipped away at her appointing powers, taking her ability to appoint positions.

Then, the council held an impeachment hearing and later voted to remove her from office.

Mayor Broderson then appealed the council's decision to the courts, and was reinstated about a month after the council's move to impeach her. She had been waiting for the final ruling in her appeal ever since.

It's still unclear if the public will get to listen to tape recordings from closed door city council meetings, but the judge ruled Mayor Broderson could get access to those tapes for her appeal.

There has been no official statement released by city hall tonight.

The city council can accept the ruling or appeal to the state's appellate court.

The ruling comes just two weeks before Election Day.