LEXINGTON, MO (KCTV) -- The mayor of a town in Lafayette County has resigned after claiming to receive hate-filled messages on Facebook.

According to the city clerk, rumors on Facebook started circulating about the mayor around March after the city administrator was ousted.

According to a news release from the City of Lexington, Mayor Fred Wiedner resigned prior to Tuesday night’s meeting of the Lexington City Council.

In an open letter to the community, Wiedner cited numerous online threats to himself and his family as his reason for stepping down.

In the letter, Wiedner called the harassment on Facebook “absolutely disgusting,” going on to say his position as mayor is “no longer worth the battle.” 

Mayor resignation

People living in Lexington describe their town as quiet, until now.

“Why one’s fired and the other one resigns. Something’s going on up there,” Sherry Gray, Lexington citizen, said.

“This time it’s just unexpected,” Sharon Welch, another Lexington citizen, said.

Back in February, the city fired its administrator, Joe Aull. He was accused of promoting a ballot measure while the city paid him.

“The city administrator was let go without cause. There was no cause,” Donna Sims, 1st Ward Council Member, said.

The Missouri ethics commission later found no evidence to support the allegations against Aull.

Aull had strong support in the community and the tension at city hall never lessened after his firing, add to this a surprise with the mayor’s resignation.

But community members aren’t worried about overcoming an absence in leadership. The remaining council is focused on serving its citizens.

“Not everybody is going to feel the same way on every item. I don’t think that’s possible, but I think that our community can find two very good replacements down the road and I think that’s what we have to concentrate on now,” Sims said.

Sims is hopeful there will be a ballot for a special election by August.

“We have a lot of things on our plate right now and I think the first thing we have to do is hunker down,” Sims said.

In a Facebook message to KCTV5 News, the former mayor said he’s accepted a job in Florida. He said his family leaves behind a lot of good friends in Lexington and wishes them nothing but the best.

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The two seats will remain open until the city can find replacements. The council is holding a closed session Thursday night to review the applicants for the city administrator positions.

Sims would not confirm if the former administrator is one of those applicants.

Scott Lynn is now serving as mayor pro tem. Lynn was previously the councilman for the fourth ward of Lexington and the head of municipal services and the hospital board. 

Scott Lynn

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(1) comment

homelessphilosopher

Any evidence that Fred Wiedner's claims about residents harassing him on Facebook are true? And if it really happened as he claims, why didn't he simply block the abusive posters and report them to Facebook? He's given my old hometown a black eye all over the country, with so many media outlets picking up this story (true or false). The former mayor of Lexington, MO is like Prof. Harold Hill from the "Music Man," drifting into this small town and scamming the residents. Unlike that musical, there is no happy, magical ending here.

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