Daily American Republic
An attempt to remove the mayor of Van Buren will go to trial. Circuit Judge David Evans ruled against a request to dismiss the case against Mayor Michael Hoerner, who was elected in April. Evans wrote “the court agrees that the local prosecutor has set forth sufficient allegations in his quo warranto petition to challenge the candidate’s qualifications.” Hoerner’s attorney, Richard Bascom, had argued only another candidate could bring a complaint against Hoerner, and the time frame to do that had passed. Evans wrote in his ruling a 2012 Missouri Supreme Court case concluded a quo warranto petition filed by a local prosecutor or attorney general is an appropriate remedy. Hoerner is accused of signing a candidate affidavit swearing he did not know of any unfiled or unpaid state income taxes. Signing the affidavit under false pretenses carries penalties of perjury and can make a candidate ineligible to serve in office. Court documents filed by Bascom says Hoerner mailed his 2010-2014 state income-tax filings March 4. Attorneys representing the state says he owed more than $2,500 in outstanding taxes and accumulated interest that were not paid at that time.