Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

June 11, 2013

Mystic councilman resigns

By Michael Schaffer Managing Editor
The Daily Iowegian

---- — According to the minutes from a Mystic City Council special meeting held May 16 that was published in the Daily Iowegian on May 30, a council member resigned after being confronted with the performance of questionable community service.

Mystic councilman Richard Thomas submitted his resignation letter May 16 and the council voted to accept it, effective immediately. Thomas was sworn-in as councilman during a special meeting on Dec. 22, 2011.

The issue leading to Thomas’ resignation came to light when Kecia McFarland, executive director for Municipal Housing Agency in Centerville, presented paperwork showing Thomas’ signature “on federal housing papers stating that a resident in Centerville performed community service hours during the months of January through April in Mystic.”

McFarland said in order for a person to receive federal housing assistance they must perform community service in the city that they live in.

McFarland discovered the information against Thomas when she began an investigation in conjunction with Mystic City Hall into community service being performed in Mystic. She found from the council’s minutes the council agreed to the community service work and the mayor signed a letter indicating the community service work was performed.

Councilman Hudson said he did not know of any community service being performed in Mystic.

Thomas said the person in question was helping him personally because he is disabled and the community service work was not for the city of Mystic.

McFarland gave the mayor and council “signed time sheets stating that the work had been completed at Mystic Community Center and trash pickup on Main Street.”

The special meeting lasted 24 minutes.

The city of Mystic is accepting letters of interest and they expect to fill the vacant council seat on June 13.