DAVENPORT, Iowa- Davenport Mayor Frank J Klipsch announced the "removal" of four members of its Civil Rights Commission.
In a letter released Monday, April 15, The mayor announced the "unfortunate decision" to remove, Nicole Bribriesco-Ledger, Shylee Garrett, Judy Shawver,
and Benjamin Hahn from their positions on the Commission.
News 8 spoke with Hahn over the phone Tuesday, April 16. He says the commission and city had started working toward a civil discussion before Monday's decision and had hoped that discussion would continue. He saw the ordinance governing the commission is not clear enough about how new members are to be appointed.
"It was strange if nothing else," Mayor Klipsch says of the commission refusal to seat his new appointees. "I had never seen that before. And nobody I talked to had seen that before. So we tried to be patient and work with the group as much as possible. But it came down to the point where we had to make sure we had a legally appointed civil rights commission to move forward."
In his letter, Mayor Klipsch said his decision was the result of the members "refusing to respect State and local laws including refusing to recognize new commission members appointed and confirmed by Davenport’s elected officials."
The mayor goes on to say the four members will be replaced "as soon as possible to join remaining commissioners Lee Gaston, Patricia Hardaway, and Randy Moore so that the important work of this commission can resume."
The mayor told News 8 he'll appoint four new commissioners by the end of the month to have them confirmed by the city council. He says he hopes the new commissioners will be meet during the regular meeting time on April 30.