The Easton City Council on Tuesday tried to boot a council member who had been critical of city leadership, but the councilwoman vowed to keep her seat, the Longview News-Journal reported.
Easton Mayor Walter Ward made a motion during the council meeting to declare as vacant the Place 3 seat now held by LaToyya Wright-Young, citing his allegations of her misconduct. The council of the small town south of Longview deadlocked at 2-2 and she remained in the post.
Ward appointed Wright-Young to the council in June 2019. He had previously tried to remove her during an executive session that began Tuesday’s meeting, before being informed that could only be done during open session, the News-Journal reported.
Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, told the newspaper that it’s unclear if the council can remove one of its members from office.
Wright-Young said the council would have to set a recall election to remove her from her post.
“Until I am voted out of that seat by the citizens, I don’t believe even the city council can vote me out,” she said. “The mayor cannot remove me from my seat.
Wright-Young has been critical of both Ward and City Secretary Precious Wafer, who she said has been lax in providing financial receipts to the council.
The News-Journal reported a shouting match broke out at an earlier August council meeting at which the mayor’s brother, Dewayne Ward, said city leadership isn’t providing the public information about Easton’s revenue and spending.
“The council doesn’t know where the city is going,” Wright-Young said at that meeting.