*Update on Belle Fourche Mayor Arrest*

I was thinking that this whole situation was looking bad, and then I read the Rapid City Journal this AM, and it got a whole lot worse:
Keller’s wife, Jill Marie Keller, told state Division of Criminal Investigation agent Chad Evans that Keller had assaulted her several times during the past year, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed in Butte County Court.

Then, on Dec. 8, she told the DCI agent, Keller choked her several times; grabbed her arms, leaving bruises; made her sit on the floor and pushed his foot into her chest so hard that she gasped for air; jumped on her legs while she sat on the floor with her legs straight; lit matches and put them out on her tongue; and sprayed her face and body with Lysol and then threw lit matches at her, according to the document. According to Jill Keller’s account in the affidavit, Keller told her he was going to start her on fire and watch her burn.

and...

Mayor Keller told the DCI agent on Wednesday that he had assaulted his wife on several occasions in 2004 and 2005, according to the affidavit. Keller said the assaults consisted of hitting his wife open-handed on the back, legs, buttocks and chest. He said he had stood on her legs and put one wooden match out on her tongue, according to the affidavit.
Read all of this story here. It's a long one, and I'm only scraping the surface. The Rapid City Journal did an extensive article on this one. And anyone reading it should be at least a little horrified.

The Belle Fourche city council is meeting today at 5:15 at a special meeting today "to show council and employee solidarity under a time of stress on city government." Why are they stressed? They weren't the ones getting a match put out on their tongues.

Their time might be better spent examining state law. And SDCL 3-17-6 might be a good place to start:
3-17-6. Grounds for removal of local officers from office. Any officer of any local unit of government may be charged, tried, and removed from office for misconduct, malfeasance, nonfeasance, crimes in office, drunkenness, gross incompetency, corruption, theft, oppression, or gross partiality.
I'm not an attorney, but I'd contend that the mayor's written affadavit might actually be sufficient to serve as an admission of misconduct (or oppression) , but, as noted by the city council, by the time they get proceedings started, the criminal trial might be resolved.

If the Mayor has any sense of service to the public in his town, he should resign now, and save his community the anguish of dragging this out.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Good note on the belle ringer from Belle Fourche. Perhaps the most important observation is the small minded attitude found in too many that excusing such conduct because, "he's OUR asshole;" which is likely how some Texans think of Delay and some South Dakotans thought of a former governor.
John
Nicholas Nemec said…
Thanks for this story and the link to the RCJ story. This is the first time I've heard this story it must not be making the papers East River. This jerk needs to be removed and sent to prison and some council member from Belle Fourche needs to take the initative to get rid of this guy.
Bensilly said…
If I read the article correctly the mayor admitted assaulting his wife. Where does this innocent until proven guilty vibe come in?
He`s got a propensity for violence as anyone can see....send him to Iraq, or back to the barroom.

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