Clerk sent out of meeting

Published 12:37 pm Monday, February 14, 2005

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - What was to be a special meeting about the contract due to expire for the Village Manager of Cassopolis, Art Sciorra, turned into something quite different.
On Wednesday evening, Jan. 19, members of the council met to discuss Sciorra's contract.
Michelle Andrews asked that the meeting be postponed until she had time to read the contract, which Sciorra provided for the council that evening. Since she was told she could have asked for a copy sooner, a decision was made to continue.
Village President Julia Bell said Sciorra asked for a closed session. She also said he would like the Village Clerk, Paula Beauchamp also be removed and said Council member Maxine Snipes could take notes.
At this point the press left and Beauchamp went out to look up the law as to whether she could be removed.
Apparently, according to Beauchamp when she came back in and refused to leave the closed meeting, and the police were called to remove her. Cassopolis Police Officer Donald Obermesik did not arrest her. Police Chief Frank Williams was not in attendance.
Beauchamp is now filing a civil lawsuit against the village saying the incident violated the Michigan Open Meetings Act and the General Law Village Act.