The Board of Mayor and Alderman voted three to two Tuesday night to remove Matt Church as vice mayor months after he was elected.
Alderman Melisa Brown was later voted in as the city’s new vice mayor.
The shake-up was prompted by claims laid out in a 24-page investigative report, which alleges Church harassed and intimidated at least three city employees, including the city administrator, assistant city administrator and director of finance.
During the meeting, Church called his removal as vice mayor a “witch hunt.”
“The citizens of La Vergne put me in office,” Church said. “This board is trying to take me out of office.”
In the report, employees claim Church created a hostile work environment, sometimes threatening them in person or on social media.
“When you get to the point that you hate to come to work, that’s a bad feeling,” explained Alderman Calvin Jones.
Dozens of supporters spoke out at the meeting, refuting the board’s decision to remove Church.
“I understand somebody making mistakes overstepping his boundaries, but I don’t see that as a reason to oust somebody,” said resident Daniel Funk.
“We voted for Matt to be up there,” said another resident Debra Heughan. “Please don’t take him away.”
Church says he plans to fight the decision.
While Church is no longer the vice mayor after the vote, he still holds a position as a city alderman.
Board members also passed a resolution to start an investigation into whether Church should be ousted from the board altogether.