Grand Tower officials deciding what's next after swearing in con - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Grand Tower officials deciding what's next after swearing in convicted felon

(Source: KFVS 12) (Source: KFVS 12)
GRAND TOWER, IL (KFVS) - Grand Tower city officials are straightening out a situation that led to voters electing a convicted felon to a city council position.

The new council member, William Golliher, was elected as a write-in candidate and won unopposed in Grand Tower's 1st ward.

Golliher received two write-ins in the April 7 election.

A letter from Jackson County Clerk Larry Reinhardt to the city confirms the victory.

But Grand Tower Mayor Mike Ellet says between the time of the election and the time of the swearing in, he learned Golliher was convicted of a felony in the late 90s.

State law prohibits convicted felons from holding office.

The mayor says the city was simply following procedure by swearing in Golliher but Clerk Reinhardt says his office never instructed them on what to do.

The county says it's up to the city to check out candidates.

The city disagrees.

"We shouldn't have to pay for this mistake,” Ellet said. “I mean it's probably going to be costly, we'll have to get a lawyer to get it straightened out. So why should we have to pay for that?"

Heartland News talked with Golliher over the phone Tuesday evening. He say's he has no intention of resigning and is prepared to take the city to court over the matter.

"I'm just here for the good of the community," Golliher said.

Golliher said he was unaware his felon conviction prevented him from holding office. He says he's been a member of the Grand Tower community for more than 25 years and has nothing to hide.

Ellet says the city may have to take legal action if Golliher does not step down.

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