Politics & Government

Forest Hill mayor gets to keep his seat unless he is found guilty, says city attorney

Forest Hill Mayor Gerald Joubert, who was indicated last month on charges of tampering with a government record, can keep his job unless he’s found guilty, according to City Attorney Craig Magnuson.
Forest Hill Mayor Gerald Joubert, who was indicated last month on charges of tampering with a government record, can keep his job unless he’s found guilty, according to City Attorney Craig Magnuson. Star-Telegram

Forest Hill mayor Gerald Joubert, who was indicted last month, does not have to step down, according to City Attorney Craig Magnuson.

Magnuson spoke following a short executive session during Tuesday’s council meeting and said that Joubert can continue holding office unless there is a guilty plea.

“There is no point for him to step down. The city is not funding his defense,” Magnuson said.

Before the council went into executive session, former mayor Lyndia Thomas called for Joubert to resign.

Thomas resigned earlier this year after she and another former council member Beckie Duncan Hayes were accused of spending city funds on Michelle Obama book tour tickets.

“I didn’t resign because I was guilty, I resigned to protect my city. It’s not a good example for the city of Forest Hill. The council needs to hold him accountable,” Thomas said.

A Tarrant County grand jury indicted Joubert last month on charges of tampering with a government record regarding his handling of signatures on a recall petition.

Last year, Joubert and other residents organized a petition drive to recall former councilwoman Stephanie Boardingham, accusing her of misusing her office for personal gain and abuse of power.

The petitions were not submitted in time for the May election, but Boardingham questioned the validity of the signatures and also stated that the petitions were addressed to the city and not the city council.

Boardingham sued Forest Hill.

A judge ruled in favor of Boardingham, and the case was dismissed.

Tampering with a government record is a felony offense with a range of 180 days to two years in a state jail.

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With my guide dog Barbara, I keep tabs on growth, economic development and other issues in Northeast Tarrant cities and other communities near Fort Worth. I’ve been a reporter at the Star-Telegram for 34 years.
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