A Springfield attorney is filing ethics charges against Mayor Jim Collins, who is currently locked in a heated campaign for the 134th legislative district seat.
Attorney Richard Crites appeared at the city of Republic's meeting Monday to announce he is filing nepotism charges against Collins. Collins has submitted the complaint to Attorney General Jay Nixon. Crites says Collins' wife Linda should not be allowed to serve on the "Mayor's Commission for Children and the Republic Fine Arts Council in Republic."
Crites charges that the mayor's appointment of his wife to those jobs violates the nepotism prohibition in the Missouri Constitution. That clause reads:
"Any public officer or employee in this state who by virtue of his office or employment names or appoints to public office or employment any relative within the fourth degree, by consanguinity or affinity, shall thereby forfeit his office or employment."
When I asked Crites why he was moving forward with this charge, he said several residents had approached him about the topic and that the move was not politically motivated.