Removing Solomon from council would require unprecedented effort - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Removing Solomon from council would require unprecedented effort

If Brian Solomon stays true to his word and remains on the Madison City Council, some alders may try to force him out.

"Certainly that's something we will look at and evaluate and decide if and how to move forward," said 1st District Alder Lisa Subeck.

Subeck and five other alders sent a letter to Solomon asking for his resignation this week.

That request comes after two separate investigations into alleged sexual abuse by Solomon against an assistant city clerk yielded no actions or punishments.

But, removing Solomon from office would be unfamiliar territory, even for Madison's City Attorney.

"It is very rare, and so, when the question comes up I gotta go back to the statute books, pull it out and read what they have to say," said Michael May, Madison's City Attorney.

The statute says that a council member, such as Subeck, would first have to make a complaint against Solomon with the city.

Then, Solomon would have to appear before the council for a public hearing, where he could have an attorney and both sides could call witnesses and present evidence to argue whether or not there is adequate cause to remove him from office.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the council would take a vote on Solomon's removal and 15 of the 20 members would have to vote that there was adequate cause.

"They define it in the statute as inefficiency, neglect of duty, official misconduct or malfeasance," said May.

May said proving Solomon is guilty of any of those things could be very difficult.

"Its pretty clear that the state laws here put a pretty high hurdle before you can meet those requirements," said May.

So does history.

No Madison alder has been removed from office in more than 40 years.

"As a body I understand, its difficult for all of my colleagues, its difficult for all of us," said Alder Brian Solomon.  "But, I also feel like we have a lot of work to do in this city and I would rather re-direct our attention to solving some of our city's problems."

None of the six alders 27 News talked to on Friday said they would support removing Solomon.

Even Alder Mark Clear, who signed the letter requesting that Solomon resign, said that process would simply take things too far.

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