Mayor Involved in Altercation…Stories Differ
An incident in the evening hours of Saturday, Nov. 1, rekindled a dispute between Mayor Paul Meyer and councilman Craig Hedquist.
At about 4:30 pm, Casper Police were called to the area of the 700 and 800 blocks of Old Yellowstone Highway after a report of drag racing.
They were also told that Meyer was there and was causing problems, according to a police narrative of the event.
From that point, the stories diverged.
Meyer said he was trying to put an end to the street racing that has been going on because it is not only illegal, but dangerous in an area with lots of children.
He admitted arguing with some of the alleged participants, but and he only physically pushed them after being grabbed first.
Two drivers, Lance Knigge and Fred Sable, told police that Meyer was yelling, swearing and reminding everyone that he was the (blanking) mayor.
Sable and Knigge claimed they were not among those who were drag racing.
Police spoke with all involved, and the crowd dispersed. There were no citations and no arrests.
Hedquist has called for a city investigation of possible abuse of power. He wanted the subject on Tuesday’s agenda, but it will be delayed until next week’s meeting.
The street-racing spat resurrected the tensions that simmered before Hedquist’s election in November 2012, and erupted last year with secret recordings of Hedquist about his construction company and other disputes.
In May, six of the eight council members voted informally to ask Hedquist to resign.
On Sept. 2, council declined to pursue Hedquist’s request for an investigation into City Manager John Patterson. Council also passed a code of ethics, which most council members said ended the controversy.
However, a federal lawsuit continues.
Councilman Daniel Sandoval said Tuesday the behavior of the grudge-holders is getting in the way of the city's business.
"This is turning into a much bigger incident than it needs to be," Sandoval said. "Mayor Meyer, he's a bit of a hot-head, but he loves the council. This is far more petty politics than the people's politics."