Mayor Klipsch removes four members from Davenport Civil Rights Commission

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UPDATE: Local 4 News went to city hall and got a copy of the letter Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch sent each of the four Civil Rights Commission members he removed today. 

It outlines in detail 12 reasons the mayor says the members are unfit.

Those include holding closed session meetings where he says members innapropriatey discussed taking legal action against the city, preventing the mayor’s new appointees to sit on the council and enabling three people to continue to act as commissioners.

One of those people is Susan Greenwalt. Her term expired in November, but Greenwalt said Klipsch innappropriately appointed someone to her spot so she’s continued to serve on the commission.

Greenwalt said the mayor’s latest actions are a “power grab.”

“It’s disappointing to the fact that we have to put the city through all this. I don’t mean city hall,” she said. “I mean the people of Davenport and the community.”

Klipsch said he will appoint four new members to fill the openings. 

Greenwalt said she is seeking a hearing to confirm her spot on the commission suspects the members who were removed today will do the same.

Local 4 News has been following the tensions between the mayor and the Civil Rights Commission for months. Here’s how it started. 

  • EARLY DECEMBER 2018: Three commissioners whose terms expired said they hadn’t heard from Klipsch whether they were still on the commission.
  • MID DECEMBER 2018: Klipsch appointed their replacements and the council approved them, but the expired commissioners complained about a conflict of interest. 
  • JANUARY 2019: Expired commissioners kept coming to meetings and wouldn’t let the mayor’s appointees be seated. 
  • APRIL 1 2019: Klipsch threatened to take action if it continued.

EARLIER VERSION: After a months long battle between Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch and the Civil Rights Commission, Klipsch has removed four commission members. 

Nicole Bribriesco-Ledger, Shylee Garrett, Judy Shawver, and Benjamin Hahn were notified of their removal earlier today by letter and email, according to a press release from Klipsch’s office.

“This unfortunate decision follows months of their refusing to respect State and local laws including refusing to recognize new commission members appointed and confirmed by Davenport’s elected officials,” the press release said. “The recent attempt by these former-commission members to determine their own membership pathway not only violates State and local laws but also harms the complainants whose cases have come before and are yet to come before the commission.”

Klipsch said he will be appointed four new members to the commission as soon as possible. 

Local 4 News reached out to Klipsch for an interview, but he said he was unavailable. 

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