New Carlisle gets new mayor amid controversy, accusations of collusion

New Mayor Ethan Reynolds denies accusations, says he looks forward to serving city’s residents.

New Carlisle City Council has selected a new mayor, but the choice divided its members, with one resigning afterward and calling the vote “collusion.”

Ethan Reynolds, who has been on city council for six years and has been at odds with other council members multiple times, was selected mayor Tuesday over former Mayor Mike Lowery. William Lindsey was selected vice mayor.

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“It’s definitely exciting and I am looking forward to serving the citizens of New Carlisle,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds, Lindsey and two new council members, Ronald Cobb and Bill Cook, voted for Reynolds. Lowery, Jim Leathley and Aaron Leighty voted against him.

Leathley resigned after Reynolds was elected.

Lowery and Leathley accused Reynolds of making a deal to campaign for Cobb and Cook in exchange for their votes for him as mayor.

“I don’t think making decisions based off of deals that are made is in the best interest of the city,” Lowery said.

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“I’m not letting the fact that I didn’t get re-elected (as mayor) get me down,” Lowery said. “I thought I worked hard to get my last term. I am still on council and will work as hard as I can to serve the residents of New Carlisle.”

Reynolds denied the allegations, saying no collusion or deals occurred and that council members voted for who they believed would be the best servant for New Carlisle.

Cobb couldn’t be reached for comment. Cook said what Leathley believes is up to him.

“I have been an activist since my retirement and I think we have a lot of great things planed for the city,” Cook said. “I am sorry that Mr. Leathley decided not to partake.”

Leathley declined to comment to the Springfield News-Sun.

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“Over the past 12 months, I have learned that — I ‘lack a backbone;’ I am ‘a tax and spend liberal;’ I am one of the ‘good old boys;’ and I am (somehow) ‘a character from the Wizard of Oz.’ And this is just from postings on Facebook by one of our own council members,” his resignation letter says. “Let me assure you that, given that I have a real life, I could really care less what a narcissistic adolescent feels the need to post on unsocial media.”

Reynolds believes Leathley was talking about him in the letter. Reynolds has called Leathley a “tax and spend liberal” in the past and said he stands by those comments. He denied saying Leathley didn’t have a backbone or that he’s a good old boy.

Leathley said in his letter that he’s not resigning over “sour-grapes.”

“What I do care about, is learning that two council members have engaged in collusion with candidates, promising to assist with their campaigns, in exchange for their promise to vote for them for the position of mayor and vice mayor,” the letter says.

Reynolds said he wishes Leathley well and would work with him in the future.

“I am about building bridges. I think I can work with everyone and build a better New Carlisle,” Reynolds said.

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