Saturday, June 14, 2014

Neosho Councilman to City Attorney: You're our bitch! You do what we want

That headline is one of the nicest things Neosho City Councilman Steve Hart said to Neosho City Attorney Steve Hays during a 13-minute recorded conversation.

The recording, which can be found at this link on Four States Home Page, features Hart firing one profanity after another to Hays, telling him who he should be prosecuting and who he shouldn't.

The heated discussion ends with Hart telling Hays, "I can vote to fire your ass."

The recording was released to the media late this week.

Hart's lawyer, Bruce Copeland, released this statement:

It is clear from the portion of the recorded conversation which has been distributed to the press that Councilman Hart was upset with City Attorney Hays for the manner in which City Attorney Hays was targeting Neosho citizens for minor, harmless activities such as driving a riding lawn mower or tractor on a city street without a driver's license. Councilman Hart deeply regrets the manner in which he expressed his frustrations to City Attorney Hays, but firmly believes such activity is not illegal and the city's limited law enforcement resources should be put to better use.

More importantly, it seems improper for City Attorney Steve Hays to secretly record conversations about city legal issues between himself and his client, Councilman Hart, and then duplicate only a portion of the conversation and allow it to be distributed to third parties, including the press. It is apparent that Attorney Hays released this partial recording of their confidential conversation for the purpose of doing harm to his own client, Councilman Hart. The Missouri Supreme Court has ethical rules governing the conduct of Missouri attorneys that take a dim view of this sort of conduct. Finally, what justification does City Attorney Hays claim for releasing this partial recording now, when he didn't see fit to release it when the conversation occurred more than a year ago?

The accompanying video comes from KSN

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