All newly-hired city employees must do it but not those on the Evansville City Council. However, a new resolution could change that. Eyewitness News has learned Councilwoman Missy Mosby (D-2nd Ward) and Councilman Jonathan Weaver (D-At Large) are working on a resolution that would require council members to undergo a drug test.
Drug screenings are already required for newly hired city employees, including the Evansville Police Department and Evansville Fire Department.
"What makes us so special? Elected officials should undergo drug testing also just like all new city employees," Weaver said. "We should be held to a higher standard. If we're requiring a normal, full-time employee... go through a drug testing, why not us?"
City Council Attorney Scott Danks is actively working on drafting the resolution, Weaver said. According to state law, Weaver said, the Council cannot approve and ordinance requiring the drug testing of elected officials. However, the Council can approve a resolution.
Because the resolution is still being worked on, there aren't specifics at this point, Weaver said. However, Weaver said the testing would be mandatory and the resolution would take effect next term, if approved. The resolution is expected to be introduced at a meeting in the near future, Weaver said.
"There has been some resistance," Weaver said. "I think now is probably the time to get it out there."
There have been a series of high-profile 'distractions' that have taken the Council's attention away from the city's business, Weaver said. On Friday, Councilwoman Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley (D-3rd Ward), publicly admitted to struggling with alcoholism. She said she relapsed this spring.
The admission came hours after Alex Jarvis, her former campaign chairman, filed for a protective order against her following a hateful Facebook post in which he was the target. One of Brinkerhoff-Riley's comments on the post read, "Alex Jarvis needs a bullet. And that would be humane."
Brinkerhoff-Riley's controversial timeline of events started in March, when she secretly recorded a meeting with the State Board of Accounts regarding an audit of city finances. In May, the councilwoman allegedly threatened the life of former Councilman Curt John in an online post, much like the recent post targeting Jarvis. Later that month, she left a profanity-laced voicemail on Council President John Friend's cell phone.
"There's just been a lot of distractions lately and it's time that we just start doing business," Weaver said. "This City Council is a train wreck."
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