Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Rio Rancho Mayor Officially Submits Resignation Letter
RIO RANCHO Embattled Mayor Kevin Jackson submitted his letter of resignation to city officials Tuesday, ending what has been several weeks of calls from residents, city council members and union representatives for him to step down.
"I think it brings closure from the city's perspective on a lot of fronts and a lot of issues,'' City Counselor Howard Balmer said. "I believe it's the right decision the mayor finally came to, the realization it's in the best interest of himself, his family and the city.''
Jackson announced in an e-mail late Monday that he would be resigning, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
He wrote in the e-mail that "placing my family first is the most critical thing for me at this time.''
At least two city councilors and a pair of unions had called for Jackson's resignation after allegations surfaced that the mayor made about $5,300 in questionable purchases with his city credit card. The purchases ranged from an $11.68 lunch at a fast-food restaurant to $1,600 worth of tickets to a Willie Nelson concert.
City councilors voted last week to subpoena Jackson because he had refused to speak to the allegations.
Jackson was served the subpoena Monday and is required appear before the council to answer questions under oath during a special meeting Friday. If he does not attend, he could face misdemeanor charges.
Councilors had already censured Jackson, passed a vote of no-confidence, taken away his city credit card and suspended his travel budget, and residents on Monday began collecting signatures for a recall effort.
Jackson's attorney, B.J. Crow, said the mayor decided to resign due to constant harassment by the news media, among others.
"He has just had enough,'' Crow said.
The city council is expected to select an interim mayor next week. That person will serve until the next election in March 2008.
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