Mayor Bill Bunten issued a stern warning, and a strong invitation for Topeka City Council members to get together and talk about the legal issues surrounding the lease/ purchase of a new police helicopter. Bunten asked Deputy Mayor Brett Blackburn and some of the others why they would back a process that goes around a mayor's veto. Bunten began by saying he wants to nail down the legal definition of a "communication."
Council members met in executive session early Tuesday evening to hear from new City Attorney Braxton Copley. He gave them private legal advice on their position before the issue of the lease/ purchase agreement may head to court, directed by District Attorney Bob Hecht.
Brett Blackburn refused to comment on the mayor's summit suggestion, but Bill Haynes urged the council to place his item on the agenda (following the legal executive session) that they may now have enough information to declare the council's actions on buying the police helicopter "null and void."
There was also a tense exchange during last night's council meeting, as Mayor Bunten read what he believed to be a deposition offered to Hecht by City Manager Norton Bonaparte. It dealt with moving ahead with Brett Blackburn's actions to enter into the agreement. Bonaparte shot back that he has never given a deposition to anyone on the issue. Bunten responded that it must have been said by "someone else."