The Lake Shore city council has formally called for the resignation of council member John Bukovich. Bukovich was cited with misdemeanor shoplifting of $225 in merchandise from Gander Mountain in Baxter on Sunday, June 24.
Bukovich was not present at the special meeting Monday morning, July 9, when the motion to call for his resignation was passed unanimously.
The council also unanimously voted to revoke Bukovich's title as Deputy Mayor and appointed council member Doug Miller to the position.
City attorney Steve Qualley explained that there are certain conditions in which the council could remove Bukovich from the council, but none of those conditions had yet been met.
Qualley said that if a council member is convicted of certain crimes, that council member can be removed from office. Bukovich has not been convicted, though he has been charged.
"I don't think you're in a position at this time where you could require any particular council person to vacate their seat," Qualley said.
At the council's last regular monthly meeting held Monday, June 25, Bukovich offered to resign if the council so wished. However, Bukovich has not yet turned in a formal letter of resignation or formally resigned at a council meeting.
Qualley said that until a formal resignation was received, the council could not declare a seat open or appoint a new council member.
Bukovich is up for re-election this November. If Bukovich chooses not to resign, and legal criteria for removal are not met, he may remain in his position until the end of his term.
In addition to the June 24 shoplifting charge, Bukovich was also charged with misdemeanor shoplifting from Mill's Fleet Farm in 2008. He fought that charge and it was dismissed. He has blamed both incidents on a medication he is taking.
Bukovich did not respond to calls for comment Monday, July 9.
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