Riggle Violates Charter, Asked to Resign by City Attorney
Posted in the Ostrander Forum
#1 Nov 4, 2013
Delaware Gazette - May 24
City councilwoman asked to step down
Citing a violation of the city of Delaware’s charter, Delaware City Council has asked councilwoman Carolyn Riggle to quit her seat, the Gazette has learned.
City attorney Dan Bennington contacted Riggle Wednesday to ask that she resign from her at-large seat on council, Riggle said.
City officials are asking Riggle to resign because she gave orders to a city employee, which is prohibited in section 52 of Delaware’s charter. Specifically, Riggle asked a public utilities employee to turn on the water at a constituent’s house.
The residents’ water had been turned off due to late payment. The payment was eventually made. However, because the payment was received after 4 p.m. the city did not restore the water that same day, per a city policy that allows utilities to be restored the following day when payment is received after 4 p.m.
Riggle said the city resident called her on May 17 and asked for her help in getting their water turned back on. She said she intends to fight the resignation request and has hired an attorney.
“I’m not resigning,” Riggle said.“My job on city council is to serve constituents and the community. That’s what I did and what I’ve always done. If someone said,‘Don’t do this,’ I would have dropped it.”
“If that’s the policy, then someone should have told me,” Riggle continued.“I know no one wants to tell a council member,‘No,’ but it could’ve been handled. There’s a way they can talk to us.”
City council met in executive session Monday to discuss the issue. City charter states that council has the “power and it shall be its duty” to declare the seat vacant if any member is found to have violated the city charter.
The Gazette contacted several council members for this story. Each declined to comment. City officials also declined to say when council is next expected to meet on the topic.
Riggle said she initially called city manager Tom Homan and asked him to have the water turned back on. She said Homan advised that he couldn’t help.
According to Riggle, she then called the city’s public works director Tim Browning, who told her that he wasn’t responsible for water shut offs. She then attempted to contact an employee in the public utilities department, she said. When Riggle couldn’t reach that employee by phone, she drove over to their residence, she said.
Riggle said she “asked the employee for a favor” and then inquired as to whether they would turn the water back on. That employee called Riggle the same night to let her know that the water had been restored.
Riggle said she was surprised to learn she may have violated the city rules.
“I’m just flabbergasted about the whole thing,” Riggle said.“I felt like this was no problem. One good deed never goes unpunished.… I’m so sorry all this happened. I just feel horrible.”
#2 Nov 4, 2013
Riggle's seat should have been vacated by Council since Riggle did not have the decency and honor to resign.
#3 Nov 4, 2013
No Dan Bennington I know resides in Cambridge OH (see above address)but the treasurer of the Three Stooges campaign does. What a coincidence!!
#4 Nov 4, 2013
#5 Nov 5, 2013
The other at-large incumbents had the good sense not to be mixed up with this mess. Riggle brought down all three of them.
#6 Nov 5, 2013
The city attorney told her she needed to resign and she said "no"? Wow. That is audacious.
Since: Jun 11
#7 Nov 5, 2013
umm you do realize Bennington retired two years ago.....right? Idiots...
#8 Nov 5, 2013
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