Fraser City Council votes to remove mayor and acting mayor

Posted at 8:42 PM, Sep 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-19 05:33:03-04

Fraser City Council has voted to remove Mayor Joe Nichols and acting Mayor Matt Hemelberg.

Both men were facing allegations of sexual harassment.

The removal came following a special tribunal hearing on Monday. 

It was an extremely unusual hearing complete with witnesses, a presiding judge and the city's top officials losing their jobs.

After the special tribunal held in Fraser, members of city council voted by majority to remove both Nichols and Hemelberg.

The votes coming after an independent investigation and testimony from witnesses alleging both men engaged in sexual harassment on the job.

Attorneys on both sides battled it out in what resembled a court hearing, complete with a retired circuit court chief judge presiding.

However, certain evidence including hearsay was allowed, since some normal court rules weren't in effect.

Council member Yvette Foster was the only witness called by defense.

This was all allowed by city charter, according to council's attorney.

However, both the Mayor and Acting Mayor now plan to pursue legal action.