Seligman alderman resigns

Thursday, April 13, 2006

By Lisa Schlichtman

On Monday night, the Seligman City Council read a letter of resignation submitted by Jeff Handley, east ward alderman.

In his letter, dated April 5, Handley wrote: "After much consideration, I have decided to resign my seat as the east ward alderman. I no longer can serve on a city council, which may have conflicts of ethical and moral obligations to the citizens of Seligman. It has been a pleasure serving my consti-tuents, but under the current situation, I will no longer be able to reside my seat."

According to the Seligman City Clerk Joan Andrews, the council took no action on the resignation. Corn, in a telephone interview on Tuesday, said the letter was tabled and will be addressed at the May council meeting.

"Jeff's been an alderman for at least five years, and he's a man of honor and integrity," said Corn. "We tabled his letter for one month, because we want to give him time to think it over."

Newly re-elected council members Cynthia Galletly, east ward alderman, and Lisa Makela, west ward alderman, took oaths of office at the April 10 meeting.

Galletly retained her seat on the Seligman City Council by attracting 19 votes in last Tuesday's election. Write-in candidates Jason Scates and Jason Clay received 17 votes and two votes respectively, not enough to unseat the incumbent.

Makela, who ran unopposed, received 45 votes in the April 4 election.

In a letter to the editor, which is published in this week's Cassville Democrat, Handley explains his resignation in further detail. According to his letter, Handley is resigning because of Galletly's re-election to the city council.

"I just cannot continue to serve in a position that I do not trust all of the aldermen that I serve with," Handley wrote.

Handley references felony stealing charges that are pending against Galletly.

"When facing charge of this type, should an elected official keep their seat on the city council?" Handley asks in his letter. "Is that ethical? I don't know. I feel that if not a resignation, a public statement was at least owed to the citizens of Seligman."

Galletly and her husband, Larry Galletly, have been charged in Barry County Associate Circuit Court with receiving stolen property. The two were arrested in January after the Missouri State Highway Patrol executed a search warrant at the Seligman flea market owned by the couple.

During the search, officers seized approximately $100,000 worth of various kinds of computer equipment and electronics. According to court records, the items were allegedly stolen from Larry Galletly's place of employment in Bentonville, Ark.

Additional evidence recovered during the search warrant revealed that Cynthia Galletly was allegedly selling the stolen items on the Internet using several different names.

Galletly is free on $20,000 bond. She pleaded not guilty to the felony charge on Jan. 31. A preliminary hearing in the case will be held on April 24.

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