Leroy Schaffer resigns from St. Francis city council

St. Francis's long local nightmare is over.

This afternoon, councilman Leroy Schaffer signed papers to resign from the city council, effective immediately.

Schaffer, who has a long history of sexual harassment allegations, was facing a fourth censure from the city council. His rocky career as a councilman is ending after four years, six months, and at least a half-dozen scandals.

Now, Schaffer just has to worry about those pending charges for filing a false police report.Mayor Jerry Tveit said Schaffer had at first attempted to resign by leaving a voice mail on Tveit's answering machine. Tveit told Schaffer it would need to be in writing, and Schaffer came to city hall this afternoon to sign the papers about an hour ago.

Schaffer, 72, had received three censures from the council for inappropriate conduct toward women. After a woman accused Schaffer of continued harassment at a June 20 council meeting, Schaffer was looking at a fourth censure -- and not just for that one incident.

"I have had no less than a dozen phone calls from women in my community asking for my help to get Leroy to stop bothering them," Tveit told City Pages last night. "And there's also been probably another dozen ladies that have gone in to city hall... and asked, 'Please get Leroy to stop bothering me.'"

Schaffer is also legally banned from two local businesses, with both trespassing orders owing to sexual harassment.

After the June 20 meeting, Schaffer also came under criticism when he asked Edward Reynoso, a new member of the Met Council if he was "Latino," and whether he was "low income, or [had] experienced low income."

Schaffer is still facing possible criminal charges for filing a false police report. On Friday, he called police and said he'd received a bomb in the mail. Cops didn't find a bomb, and are considering pressing charges for the report.

Tveit said Schaffer's resignation still needs to be accepted by the city council, which could be done at a special session. The council will appoint a successor, who will then stand in the next election.

In the 2010 election, Schaffer received more votes than any other candidate.


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