Burnett added as defendant in CAPC lawsuit

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Patrick Burnett, who was appointed to the Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission last month, has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed against several of the commissioners as well as the mayor and his chief administrative assistant.

Eureka Springs attorney Tim Parker confirmed Tuesday that he has filed a supplemental complaint adding Burnett as a defendant in the lawsuit. Parker filed the suit March 10 in Carroll County Circuit Court on behalf of CAPC finance director Rick Bright, group sales coordinator Karen Pryor, former interim executive director Gina Rambo, former special events coordinator Tracy Johnson and Greg Moon, whose removal from the commission is challenged in the complaint.

Defendants in the lawsuit are Eureka Springs mayor Butch Berry; his assistant Kim Stryker; CAPC commissioners Burnett, Jeff Carter, James DeVito, Melissa Green, Harry Meyer and Carol Wright; and two insurance companies that provide policies to the city.

With the addition of Burnett as a defendant, the only CAPC commissioner not named in the suit is Bobbie Foster.

At a Jan. 27 meeting, the commission voted on a motion to vacate Moon’s seat because he was no longer employed in the tourism industry after being placed on furlough from his job as a manager at a local restaurant.

Wright, who at the time was the commission chair, declared Moon’s seat vacant after a roll-call vote that saw three commissioners vote to vacate the seat, with two commissioners — Foster and Moon — voting no and one abstaining. Wright did not vote, leaving the motion one vote short of the four needed for approval.

The Eureka Springs City Council appointed Burnett to the commission on Feb. 22 to fill the seat that had been held by Moon.

At the CAPC’s Feb. 24 meeting, the commission voted to amend the minutes from the Jan. 27 meeting to say the vote on the motion to remove Moon was 4-2-1. Burnett, who was not part of the commission at the Jan. 27 meeting, voted in favor of amending the minutes. Also at the Feb. 24 meeting, his first as a commissioner, Burnett was among five commissioners who voted in favor of Wright’s motion to terminate Rambo. Foster cast the only dissenting vote. As chair, Carter did not vote.

Burnett did not return a call for comment Tuesday morning.

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