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Former Mayoral Candidate Served with Protective Order Following Disorderly Conduct Arrest
The Republican mayoral candidate could not visit City Hall during the campaign. Mayor Steve Williams declined to debate McCallister whose viewpoints often lead to a raised voice and name calling when he believes council chairman Mark Bates declines to take any action, including answering a question.
During the public hearing on the Sanitary fee increase, Councilman Scott Caseta made a motion to "table" the ordinance that contained a 57% increase. McCallister disputed an interpretation of Robert's Rules of Order that required an item to be addressed by the end of the meeting unless a date certain was specified.
Roberts Rules of Order for Dummies explains that a proper Motion to Table occurs so that other business or a subsidiary motion. The "table" motion is not debatable, can not be amended, and passes by majority vote. If the tabled motion is not picked up by the next regular meeting, then, it dies.
However, there's a clarification : It’s never in order to use the motion to lay on the table to kill a motion or to delay its consideration. If the motion is made with improper intentions, the presiding officer should simply clarify the motion based on the maker’s intent.
The table motion had become a debate pertaining to whether a date certain had to be included. Discussion became heated and Joyce Clark rose to her feet following a McCallister retort.
McCallister left the chamber to use the rest room. However, he did not realize that a line of police officers waited beyond the door. Caserta noticed them, though.
When McCallister insisted after verbal boisterousness that he re-enter, two officers in particular objected. Eventually, McCallister grew angry and suggesting the disagreements be settled "outside in the alley." This set off his arrest by Randy Spears for disorderly conduct and obstruction.
Editor's Note: Spears, according to McCallister, arrested him after a similar incident in which he prevailed in federal court represented by Jason Huber. A federal order requires that he be allowed to speak, but "safety" of one or more individuals from a restraining order preempts the free speech directive.
McCallister was in his words "tightly handcuffed" and taken to the Cabell County Courthouse for arraignment. He would be released on his own recognizance pending a hearing on January 5, 2016(sic) , likely 2017.
However, during the arrest procedure no officer search the arrestee. When asked by the magistrate if he possessed a weapon, McCallister said, he had a 357 magnum in his pocket and a license for concealed carry.
The criminal complaint against McCallister reads as follows:
"The respondent , Tom McCallister, was at City Hall for a council meeting on Dec. 27, 2016. The respondent was creating a disturbance in chambers and was called out of order multiple times. The respondent walked out into the hallway . Lt. Underwood was speaking with him and I assisted backing up Lt. Underwood. The respondent began cursing at me and threatened to kick my ass multiple times. The respondent was forced multiple times to stop his irate behavior. Respondent stepped toward me in an aggressive manner and took his finger and pointed it toward my face and told me to go out in the alley and he was going to be kicking my ass . Respondent stated that I hid behind my badge. The respondent was arrested by Lt. Underwood . During processing, the respondent was in possession of a pistol in his front pocket."
During an interview, McCallister insisted that he told officers at City Hall he could not be arrested for violation of Robert's Rules of Order. He insisted that he became disrespectful after numerous police officers block his entrance back into council chambers.
"They were making things up as they go," he said, adding that Underwood did not tell him a reason for his arrest.
After obtaining the temporary restraining order, McCallister said that at least four police cars and others nearby came to his abode to serve the TRO.
Prior cases against HPD for civil rights violations have touched on a possible mis-use of the obstruction statute.