Scott could lose seat on Gary City Council
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org/302-0949 April 22, 2014 9:34PM
Gary Common Council President Ronier Scott. April 26, 2010.
Updated: May 24, 2014 6:44AM
GARY — City Councilman Ronier Scott leaves for prison May 6 and the City Council will vote to strip him of his seat May 13, council president Kyle Allen said Tuesday.
Scott, 42, pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion in February and received a sentence of three months in prison and 400 hours of community service for the misdemeanor offenses.
Scott would have to forfeit his seat if he was convicted of a felony.
Some Gary officials hoped Scott would resign, but on Tuesday Scott said he would not step down.
Scott, D-6th, appeared at an informational forum on the Gary/Chicago International Airport partnership. He said he is the sole family breadwinner for his family. Council members earned an annual salary of $28,727 in 2013.
Allen said a two-thirds vote of eight council members is necessary to remove a member.
“I’ve known him since high school,” Allen said. “It’s nothing I take satisfaction in,” he said of the vote.
Allen said a state law allows city councils to remove members.
“If the seat is vacant for 90 days, the interests of the people have to come first,” said Allen. “We have to maintain the integrity of the body. We all take an oath to look after the interests of the people.”
Scott is the second City Council member to go to prison this year for failing to pay taxes.
Marilyn Krusas, D-1st, resigned last year following her tax evasion guilty plea. She received a one-year sentence for trying to hide a $232,000 inheritance from the IRS to avoid paying a debt created by going 20 years without filing a tax return.