News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

November 14, 2008

Duke Bennett says city situation normal

Mayor urges patience during Council meeting after legal decision on his office

TERRE HAUTE — Mayor Duke Bennett tried to assure the Terre Haute City Council that he remains firmly in the mayor’s office despite a Thursday court decision from the Indiana Court of Appeals that said he had been an ineligible candidate in the 2007 mayoral election.

“I would ask and urge patience as we all work through this legal process,” Bennett told members of the council at the beginning of Thursday evening’s regular meeting of the council in City Hall. “Our goal is to get it resolved as soon as we possibly can.”

Bennett said the city government will continue to function normally while his legal team decides its next step. “There are more days to come and more things to be dealt with,” he said.

Council president Todd Nation, D-4th, asked City Attorney Chou-il Lee whether the City Council should take any special action in view of the court’s decision.

“My opinion is no,” Lee answered. “What we have is an opinion from the appellate court that is a non-final opinion.” The Court of Appeals decision can be appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court and until that court makes a decision – or 30 days passes without an appeal – the city government can carry on as usual, he said.

“It’s our intention to just soldier on and continue to do the things that we need to do,” Nation said.

n In other business, the City Council voted to postpone a vote until next month on a resolution that would have given the Board of Public Works authority to hire real estate appraisers for property on North First Street for possible relocation of the Terre Haute Police Department.

Councilman Jim Chalos, D-at large, asked Bennett if there had been any consideration of building a government center to house all government entities in one location.

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    March 12, 2010