LaHarpe mayor resigns in wake of arrest, accusations
LaHarpe Mayor Ryan Kienast put a copy of his resignation letter on every City Council member's seat prior to its meeting on May 22, according to the Edgar County Watchdogs.
Kienast has been under fire for several incidents.
Earlier this year, Kienast was charged in Hancock County with misconduct after being photographed using the city's backhoe at private residence. His court date is June 12.
"His most recent scandal involved the firing of a water department employee, without notice, leaving residents and council members wondering if it was in retaliation of the employee voicing his opposition to the Mayor allegedly changing his own water bill, and getting the water billing policy changed in order to benefit him thru lower water rates at an apartment building," the ECW wrote.
The ECW first reported on use of the equipment on November 11, and the issue was addressed at the LaHarpe City Council meeting three days later. Kienast was not present, nor was the city attorney.
ECW co-founders John Kraft and Kirk Allen attended the meeting and discussed the proper way for the mayor to contest debts owed to the city and the ramifications of using public property for private reasons.
During the meeting, it was revealed that Kienast had written a check to the city for $50 to cover the cost of the work. The council turned the check over to the police chief as part of the ongoing investigation into misuse of public property.