Simpsonville City Council held another executive session after their June 23rd meeting. Scheduled as a discussion of items for the committee of the whole, the agendas also included an executive session pertaining to Grounsell vs the City of Simpsonville.
The lawsuit has been the subject of several executive sessions in the past months, but it appears this meeting may have achieved some progress.
After coming out of executive session, Mayor Paul Shewmaker entertained a motion to vote on what was decided in executive session. No explanation was offered as to what they were voting on. Prior to going into executive session Councilwoman Stephanie Kelley recused herself and did not attend the executive session. In a vote of 5 to 1 Council approved whatever it was they talked about behind closed doors. Matthew Gooch was the lone councilperson to vote against whatever it was they were voting on.
According to Mayor Paul Shewmaker, he was concerned about the lack of transparency in the wording of the motion but was convinced that there was probable cause to disguise the action taken. “The Sensitive nature of the negotiations allows for discretion with regard to sharing information with the public”, added Shewmaker.
The lawsuit against the City of Simpsonville, former Mayor Perry Eichor and current City Council member Stephanie Kelley has been ongoing for the last several years. On May 25 former police Chief Grounsell offered a settlement to the city for $35,000. The city had 20 days to respond and opted to allow the offer to expire. Clearly something is in the works. Whatever it is five Council people including the Mayor have supported and Matthew Gooch is against it. We will keep you posted!■