Brinkerhoff-Riley Asked To Resign From Vice President Role

Evansville City Council President John Friend calls for Councilwoman Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley to resign as vice president.
A secret recording, broken trust, now a call for resignation with an executive session on the horizon. Evansville City Council President John Friend wants Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley to step down as Council Vice President.

Brinkerhoff-Riley represents the city's 3rd Ward. Earlier this month she admitted to secretly recording an exit conference with the State Board of Accounts in March. The subject of that meeting was the city's 2012 audit. Now some are calling for her resignation while others say it's time to move on.

Friend tells Eyewitness News he talked to Brinkerhoff-Riley Friday, asking her to resign as vice president. The deadline was noon Monday, but he says she didn't meet that deadline. Now Friend is in the process of calling an executive session later this week to have her voted out as vice president.

Councilman Al Lindsey, D-6th Ward, says the conflict is going too far. "I don't think anyone cares about who is the vice president," said Lindsey. "I think this has just been blown out of proportion. Myself, I don't care who is vice president and I'm on the council."

Friend says his reasoning for the move is because she broke the trust of the council and the mayor's office. Lindsey says he supports both Friend and Brinkerhoff-Riley, but suggests the conflict is distraction from what he considers the real issue -- one that Brinkerhoff-Riley tried to publicize on the steps of the Civic Center last week.

"It's the Administration's inability to do basic accounting and to run a city," said Lindsey "That's the problem -- they don't know how to run a city."

Lindsey says the conflicts within City Council are petty, noting there are bigger issues that "actually matter" to taxpayers like the city's rising water and sewer bills, road repairs, and Hartke Pool being closed over Memorial Day Weekend -- a traditionally busy time for the city pool.

"I don't know why this is going like it is, I really don't. I wished it wasn't," explained Lindsey. "I don't like having to choose between everyone I consider Friends."

While Lindsey says he wishes the spat wasn't heading to an executive session, he hopes council members will unite in whatever decision they make.

"It would be nothing more embarrassing than to do this and not have the votes because that really shows no leadership on the council and we need that," said Lindsey.

The executive session is expected to take place this Thursday or Friday at 5:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers. Because it is an executive session, the meeting will not be open to the public. We reached out to Councilwoman Brinkerhoff-Riley for comment but she did not respond.
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