By Dennis Minich
Harrisonville Ward 3 Alderman David Dickerson resigned from office last week, eliminating the need for a disciplinary hearing which had been scheduled for Monday night. Dickerson presented his resignation letter to City Administrator Brad Ratliff Friday morning.
Dickerson was facing the disciplinary hearing, which could have resulted in his removal from office, for a variety of accusations of violations of city codes of conduct. Among the allegations were Dickerson attempted to use his office for personal gain; attempting to bully city staff of behalf of friends and relatives; making sexist and derogatory comments about the mayor; and attempting to spread misinformation to place the city in a negative light.
When called for comment Monday, Dickerson answered the phone, but hung up when a reporter from The South Cass Tribune identified himself.
Mayor Judy Bowman did not address Dickerson’s resignation, but did commend the committee which had been charged with researching the allegations.
“I want to thank the aldermen who served as the Investigative Committee in the matter of the discipline of former alderman David Dickerson. The expenditure of their time and energy in reviewing the allegations and conducting interviews is greatly appreciated,” Bowman said.
She added it was important city employees knew they had a place where they could voice their concerns.
“I also admire the courage of city staff who voiced their concerns to the investigative committee regarding issues in which they were personally involved. City code clearly identifies those behaviors which are not acceptable for an alderman.
“The board of aldermen can now get on with its business of moving Harrisonville forward,” she said.
The final step in the process will come Monday night at the board’s regular meeting, when the resignation will be acknowledged. The door will then be opened to finding a replacement.
Bowman said, “I will be making my recommendation of a Ward 3 resident to fill the vacant seat very soon. I am interested in hearing from anyone who has a true heart for Harrisonville and who has a history of serving her faithfully. Interested parties may contact the city clerk for an application.”
Dickerson had served on the board over 12 years and was reelected to office in April. This was the second time he had been the subject of an investigation, having previously offered a public apology for misconduct during the screening process for a new city administrator.
Dickerson became the second board member to leave office this year. In January, former alderman Brad Bockelman was removed for violating the attendance policy. He was replaced by Mike Zaring, who was running unopposed for the Ward 1 seat in April’s election.