The Mayor of Lake Ozark could be facing trouble after promoting political candidates using letterhead with the city’s logo ahead of election day.

As first reported by Lake News Online, Mayor Dennis Newberry shared a letter wrote on city letterhead asking the public to support selected candidates and published it on Social Media.

Several hours after posting the letter, it was removed and replaced with a separate post without the city’s logo in the letterhead.

At issue is a city ordinance, which puts the original letter in violation of city code under “Use of Public Resources” which states public officials shall not utilize the city’s name, letterhead, logo or seal for endorsement of political candidates, businesses or services.”

A spokesman for the Missouri Ethics Commission says they cannot comment on this issue at this time because it’s possible they may receive a complaint, and if a complaint is filed, they cannot discuss it with the media until a decision is made.

Alderman Pat Thompson of Ward 1 tells KRMS News she’s “Insulted” by the mayor’s endorsements, stating that the comment that others running for election that are not supported by Newberry “simply can’t move on” is out of line and incorrect.

There is also concern now that the city could face potential lawsuits by the losing candidates.

This remains a developing story and we’ll continue to bring you the latest as it comes in.

 

***Lake Ozark Code:

[Ord. No. 2010-368-24-2010]

A. 

Unless specifically permitted by City policy, the use of City facilities, equipment, vehicles, supplies, on-duty personnel or other goods or services is limited to City business. Public resources may not be used for private gain or personal purposes except on the same basis that they are otherwise normally available to the public. Normal rental or usage fees may not be waived except in accordance with City policy.

B. 

A public official may use the City’s name, letterhead, logo or seal only when it would be perceived as representing the City or the body as a whole and only with the prior consent of the Board of Aldermen. However, this provision will not prohibit individual Aldermen members from using City letterhead and resources to write personal congratulatory letters, letters of recommendations, references, endorsements and such may be written on by an Alderman on City letterhead with a copy being provided to each member of the Board of Aldermen.

C. 

A public official shall not utilize the City’s name, letterhead, logo or seal for the purpose of endorsing any political candidate, business, commercial product or service.
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