Hult steps down from Belleville Township board

NEWS-DEMOCRATJuly 19, 2013 

Ralph Hult resigned from the Belleville Township board, but vows to run for election.

Hult officially stepped down at 5 p.m. Friday.

An independent, Hult had been appointed as a trustee to the board to fill the seat previously occupied by the late Paul Klingler, a member of the Belleville Good Government party.

Hult is the husband of Melinda Hult, a Belleville alderwoman.

Hult declined to comment about his decision, but in a letter issued to township trustees Friday afternoon, he wrote: "I will no longer attempt to occupy the position of Belleville Township Trustee to fill decedent Pail Klingler's vacant trustee position. Instead, I shall seek election to that position."

The next election is in spring 2017.

Before Hult decided to leave the township board Friday, he had been attending township meetings and recently voted "present" on all agenda items on the advice of his attorney Ron Duebbert due to the controversy surrounding his appointment.

On Friday, Duebbert said Hult was stepping down because his client's appointment was in violation of the law.

"The statute says that a person who would be nominated and admitted by the board of trustees to replace the vacant trustee's member seat has to be from same political party," Duebbert said.

Duebbert also said the statute also states that the township must have a special meeting to pick the next trustee.

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly has previously said his office has been reviewing information concerning the appointment.

Kelly could not be reached for comment Friday.

Contact reporter Will Buss at wbuss@bnd.com or 239-2526.

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