NEOSHO, MO.--- The statement says, "Mayor Davidson is deeply disappointed that personal political disagreements have resulted in the filing of this lawsuit. He strongly denies the allegations made against him in the petition, and will vigorously defend against those allegations in the proper venue. Mr. Davidson will not allow this distraction to prevent his ongoing efforts to work with the entire city council to conduct the business of the City of Neosho in the best interests of its citizens."
On Monday, Councilman Steve Hart filed a lawsuit in Newton County Circuit Court. He's requesting as much as $500,000 in punitive damages against the two city officials. The councilman accuses Hays of committing malpractice for recording a conversation between them and releasing it to the public.
In June, a tape was released from Neosho City Hall to KSN after a Missouri open records request was submitted. During the conversation, Hart uses intense language and urges the city attorney to drop a traffic violation involving a resident riding a lawn mower on a city street. Hart also claims the city attorney conspired with Mayor Richard Davidson to politically attack city council members who opposed them.
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