EXCLUSIVE: Union Gap Mayor talks to Action News

EXCLUSIVE: Union Gap Mayor talks to Action News »Play Video
UNION GAP. Wash. -- It seems like every week we report on a new controversy in Union Gap, but the latest episode could be the most surprising. Union Gap's soon-to-be former mayor will be arrested if he enters city hall. It's caused a lot of talk around town, and tonight Action News gets the mayor's side of the story. It was a sweeping change inside city hall. Earlier this month, Union Gap residents voted for to change from a strong-mayor system to a council-manager government, putting Mayor Jim Lemon out of the job.

“If he can step down gracefully and understand that we're looking to move forward I think it'll be a good thing. Jim Lemon I'm sure he's done as best he could but according to the people of union gap I think it's time to move forward," said Union Gap resident Ed Perez.

Apparently Lemon agrees. In an exclusive interview with Action News, he insists he not upset with voter's decisions, but rather he's happy with the change because it takes a load off his shoulders.

“I don't have any time for my family and really I just think God has put me in a different direction. That's really what I think it is. We have wonderful people in our town. I'm sure that many people that I really like and care for voted for this change in government. So I really just think it’s more of an answer to my prayers if anything," said Union Gap Mayor Jim Lemon.

That’s not all, this past week, we learned Lemon was told by police to stay off city property due to an ongoing criminal investigation having to do with an employee. The decision sent shockwaves through Union Gap.

Union Gap Resident Don Potter said, “If they said he shouldn’t come on. Why, there must be some reason that they done it."

But the city has remained tight-lipped on the subject.

"Right now, it seems like it’s so much hush hush that we want to know. People in the community want to know what's going on," said Perez.

Lemon says he is one of them. He tells us he was just as shocked as everyone else to be banned from city hall.

Action News asked if he knew of the allegations against him.
"Nope, not really. Very vague, very vague," said Lemon.

He says although he doesn't know all nitty gritty details, but he's confident has hasn't done anything wrong.

To be balanced, we did reach out to Union Gap's city administrator to get his side of the story. We weren't able to reach him today, so we'll try again tomorrow. Meantime, Mayor Lemon has filed a claim with Union Gap to ensure his rights are protected as the city switches to a new form of government.