De Leon residents weigh in on city staff departures


DE LEON, Texas - Several De Leon residents say they're welcome the change after several key city positions were left vacant following Monday's city council meeting.

Three council members and the city secretary resigned at the meeting. The entire police force also put in two-week notices. The council was scheduled to talk about removing the mayor.

Mayor Jim Adams was elected May 7 after an uncontested race.

"The main reason I resigned is because of the mayor," councilman Lee Childers said. "I don't like the mayor, he doesn't know what he's doing, [and] everything he does is wrong."

The events that led to the council seeking the mayor's ouster was a shoplifting incident earlier this month at the town's Dollar General. Mayor Adams told KTXS on Monday he retrieved surveillance video and gave it to De Leon Police.

The police department accused him of interfering with an investigation, and Adams placed Chief Ben Rowell on leave of absence.

"I felt there was no recourse but to resign from my position," Rowell said Tuesday. "My other officers did the same … I worked hard for this community, and I don't want to ruin my reputation in law enforcement."

Several people in attendance at Monday's meeting said the mayor apologized for his actions, and they are glad at the opportunity to elect new people for the council.

"I think some of the city council members weren't representing the city," Laura Brown, who's lived in De Leon for 30 years, said. "We've got a lot of problems here. Drive up and down the streets, nothing is done."

She added, "I think [the mayor's] a good man."

No timetable has been set on when the city will fill the open positions.

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