Why should Councilman Chris Moreno be recalled from office?
Below you will find a list of actions and supporting documentation that make Chris Moreno unfit to serve in elected office.
1/12/17 - Councilman Chris Moreno made an unprecedented motion to actually LOWER the amount of money that a developer would pay to the city. Days later, the developer and his business partners made contributions of $5,200 to a Political Action Committee formed by David Moreno (Chris Moreno's father) to combat the ballot measure to recall Councilman Moreno. Click here to watch the NBC Action News Story>>
Kickback Timeline of Events
12/15/16 - Lee's Summit City Council (with Chris Moreno absent) votes to approve a "Payment in Lieu of Taxes" (PILOT) amount of $1,051 per unit (recommended by City staff) for the Residences at Echelon project, developed by M150 Echelon Land Development, LLC (owned by Fredrick Delibero). Meeting minutes and video >>
1/12/17 - Lee's Summit City Council (with Chris Moreno present) has business to ratify prior vote on Residences at Echelon. Ignoring Council policy, Moreno makes a motion to LOWER the PILOT amount to $935 per unit. Motion fails, but Moreno continues to push and the Council votes 5-3 to split the difference between the two and lower to $993 per unit which would save the developer an estimated $500,000. Meeting minutes and video >>
1/27/17 – Taxpayers Alliance was formed with the Missouri Ethics Commission as a Political Action Committee with David Moreno (Chris Moreno’s father) as Treasurer (MEC #C171053).
- Phone number listed as contact is the same as a business owned by Chris Moreno.
- David Moreno has only served as Treasurer for two other MEC-registered committees, both to elect Chris Moreno.
- Taxpayers Alliance files MEC report claiming contributions from:
- $2,500 from MCDC Partners LLC (Owned by Frederick Delibero, same developer as M150 project).
- $2,500 from Rob Ellerman Real Estate, frequent and possibly exclusive real estate agents of communities built by Fredrick Delibero in Missouri. Read More >>
Chris Moreno, acting as a city official, is accused of maliciously interfering with a local small business owner's contracts, costing him thousands of dollars. This is documented in e-mails and text messages. As a result, the City of Lee's Summit is also named as a defendant, exposing the city to untold risk. Click on the image below to read the lawsuit.
Bankruptcy and questionable campaign finances
August 31, 2016 - Chris Moreno files bankruptcy for personal and business debts totaling $244,760.49, including campaign expenses. See Bankruptcy Filing Above.
September 2, 2016 - After several individuals point out the irony, Councilman Moreno resigns form the City Budget and Finance Committee, leaving District 4 with no representation. Read More >>
Attempt to Silence Critics
10/6/16 - During public comments of a City Council meeting, a resident of District 4 called for Councilman Moreno's resignation. Moreno leaves the room and then returns, interrupting her and asking the Mayor to stop her from talking. (Starting at 18:40 of linked video).
Later that same meeting, Coucilman Moreno refers to public comments as a "Jerry Springer episode" and requests that the Council eliminate or place heavy restrictions on public comments, contrary to the First Amendment. (Starting at 3:24:40 of linked video).
10/13/16 - Anticipating further critical comments, Councilman Moreno enlists his twin brother, Nicholas Moreno (not a Lee's Summit resident) to filibuster the entire 10 minutes allotted for public comments, leaving no time for any other Lee's Summit residents to speak. (Starting at 15:00 of linked video.)
10/24/16 - City Council rules committee denies Councilman Moreno's attempts to silence the public. Read the newspaper story>>
On a personal level, Chris Moreno has repeatedly attacked his critics (including several members of LSCRG) by contacting their employers and non-profits on which they serve, attempting to have them fired or removed from their volunteer positions.
Fact-checking Councilman Moreno
Below are statements made by Councilman Moreno in an article published in the Lee’s Summit Tribune last week, as well as additional comments only from the last two weeks. We have fact-checked this article with DOCUMENTATION as opposed to his empty words.
“Not a single creditor contested my debt in court.”
“In my case I failed to pay an $800 credit card and a $1,000 cash loan in my 20s.”
FALSE – Mr. Moreno’s bankruptcy filings contain cable bills, highway tolls, hotel stays, auto loans overdraft fees and many, many other debts, including over $100,000 in debts from 2016 alone. This isn’t about someone in college that ran up some debt. Not paying his bills is a way of life for Mr. Moreno. Curiously, he also made these same claims in a podcast and in a city council meeting. (Documentation here - Moreno bankruptcy full filing)
“But what does that (bankruptcy) have to do with 2017? Absolutely nothing.”
FALSE – Mr. Moreno’s gross financial mismanagement is representative of his decision-making ability. Making financial decisions for a city with a budget of over $200,000,000 is not for someone that can’t manage their personal finances.
“It is not unethical or illegal for a candidate or their business to loan their campaign money.”
MISLEADING – While it may not be unethical or illegal to loan a campaign money, it IS unethical to lend money from a business that is not paying its creditors, only to claim bankruptcy weeks later. He had plenty of money to fund his campaign, but not to pay his debts.
“I definitely have zero instances of misconduct in office.”
FALSE – Councilman Moreno used his office to exact personal revenge upon a businessman in Lee’s Summit (lawsuit filed). He also made an illegal motion during Council Roundtable to have the Sheriff’s department investigate the city, which cost the taxpayers an untold sum of money. The Attorney General is still investigating this matter. (Lawsuit here - Moreno civil suit | AG letter here - AG-Sunshine-law-complaint)
“Our council committee rules and procedures of this body state that only public comments should pertain to city-related matters.” (3/16/17 City Council meeting)
FALSE – Ironically, Mr. Moreno made these statements after a citizen spoke during public comments to point out Moreno’s history of silencing his critics and attempting to limit public speech. Lee’s Summit city ordinance section 2-60.22 0 Rule 2.2 titled “Public Comments” clearly states “During public comments, the public may address Council on any matter.” (Ordinance below)
“I definitely did not bully a volunteer into resigning.”
FALSE – Councilman Moreno posted a volunteer’s cell phone number and business contact info and made serious accusations at her. He only agreed to remove her information if she resigned, which she did. He freely admits this in his post, but does not see it as bullying and says “I do not regret that decision at all”.
Mr. Moreno has proven time and time again that he feels he can shout lies and no one will hold him accountable. Lee’s Summit deserves better representation. Vote YES on Question 13 to Recall (remove) Moreno.
Vote YES on Question 13 to Recall (remove) Moreno.
Letter to the Editor
Yesterday, the Lee's Summit Tribune posted a letter to the editor penned by Troy and Cyndy Jackson. Hours later, it was removed, while three letters to the editor supporting Councilman Moreno remain. Here is the letter:
Our family resides in Lee’s Summit, District 4, and has for nearly 12 years. Over the past several months we have been embroiled in controversies surrounding the city council and the effort to recall Councilman Chris Moreno. During his original campaign for City Council, we were vocal about our opposition to Mr. Moreno. One Sunday morning, we woke up to find 18 of candidate Moreno’s campaign signs in our yard. We live on a visible corner and presume that this was done as a joke. What transpired over the next few days was a vicious personal attack aimed directly at our family.
His signs were offered back to him, unharmed. Instead of retrieving them, he decided to call the Lee’s Summit Police Department to our home to pick them up. He then took to Facebook and Twitter committing libel by fabricating lies about our family. He immediately contacted the school that our children attend in an attempt to have us disciplined by administration and removed from the PTA where we serve on the executive board. His actions caused additional volunteer hours for many, as well as involvement from the Missouri State PTA. He didn’t stop there. He had his twin brother call another community organization, where we also serve on the executive board, alleging racial bias against us. He also went so far as to contact one of our employers and tried to get us fired, alleging that we stole from the company.
He is vindictive and dangerous to anyone who does not agree with his line of thinking. He has proven this time and time again over the past year with local business owners, city and community volunteers as well as peers on council. His first big splash on city council was calling local media outlets and grandstanding in front of the camera a mere four days after being sworn to the dais. He was appointed to the Finance and Budget Committee despite his blatant business and personal financial mismanagement. He conveniently resigned from that committee a day after he filed personal bankruptcy, leaving District 4 with no representation in regards to the city budget. When residents have spoken out during the public comments portion of council meetings, Mr. Moreno has made motions to have public comments removed from the governing process.
Mr. Moreno is not fit to represent District 4. He has aspirations of becoming a career politician. He must be stopped at the local level before he has the power to effect state and even national politics. We urge the residents of District 4 to get out and vote YES on Question 13 on April 4th.
Troy and Cynthia Jackson
Wasting city money and resources
After citizens began to show increased interest in attending City Council meetings, Councilman Moreno stated that he "feared for his safety" and requested additional police personnel for his "protection". Two officers were assigned to attend the meeting, instead of performing their usual public safety duties. They were eventually dismissed, after it became clear that they were not needed.
In an attempt to shift focus off of himself and on to another councilperson, Moreno ordered an independent accounting firm to audit the city's purchasing practices, costing the city nearly $30,000. When the audit returned no evidence of wrongdoing, Moreno then attempted to expand the scope of the audit, which would have cost the taxpayers an additional $5,000. Thankfully, this was denied.
Hours after Lee's Summit Citizens for Responsible Government submitted their petition for his recall, Mr. Moreno demanded that the Sheriff's department conduct a sweeping investigation of "all purchases, transactions and communications" of the entire city, despite the fact that the above audit was still pending. Unable to find any probable cause, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department elevated the investigation to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Six weeks later, the MHP ended the investigation with no findings of suspicious or criminal activity. There is no way to know the man hours spent upon this witch hunt.
Following a personal disagreement with a member of the Charter Review Committee, Councilman Moreno commanded that all further meetings of the committee (comprised entirely of volunteers) be broadcast on live television at the expense of the city.
Frequently asked questions
How can Councilman Moreno be recalled from office?
On the April 4th, 2017 ballot, Question 13 reads "Shall Councilman Chris Moreno, 4th District be recalled? If a simple majority vote "yes", Chris Moreno will be removed from office.
How did this question get on the ballot?
Lee's Summit Citizens for Responsible Government (LSCRG) followed the recall process outlined in The Lee's Summit City Charter. It requires that a petition with must be signed by "qualified voters" (registered voters in District 4) and that the petition have at least 30% as many signatures as the total number of votes cast in the election in which the official was elected. The signatures must be collected within 90 days of the petition being issued.
There were 1744 votes cast in District 4 when he was elected. A minimum of 524 registered District 4 voters were needed to the recall petition.
LSCRG submitted 621 signatures that were verified by the Jackson County Elections Board. The signatures were collected and submitted in less than half the allotted time.
What happens now that the signatures have been submitted and verified?
The recall will be voted on in the next general election, April 4th 2017.
Once voted out of office, who would take his place?
Interested parties submit their notice and qualifications to the City Council. The remaining council members will consider the applicants and appoint a Councilperson. That appointment is valid until the next municipal election.
How can I help?
- Spread the word – talk to your friends & neighbors. Share this website, the Facebook page (Recall Moreno), and attend City Council meetings if possible.
- If you have other ideas about how you can help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Where can I find more information?
"Since Councilman Moreno was elected, his lack of basic understandings of local governance and constant barrages on social media make him unfit to fulfill his term and position. There are too many positive initiatives happening in Lee’s Summit to have a corrupt, disruptive, incompetent councilman representing District 4."
LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - As Lee’s Summit city councilman Chris Moreno faces a recall election in April, he’s now also facing several questions regarding recent financial contributions tied to his campaign.
READ MORE >>
Tortious interference is a common law tort allowing a claim for damages against a defendant who wrongfully interferes with the plaintiff's contractual or business relationships. See also intentional interference with contractual relations.
It's time that the Voters of District 4 simply stop the deadly bleeding that is occurring in City Hall. Mr. Moreno has been named as a defendant in this Tortious Interference lawsuit. Can we as a city afford to have Christopher Moreno do any more possible damage to the image or bank account of our city? A yes vote on question 13 on April 4th will be the very first step for healing the wounds that have been inflicted in less than one year with him in office. We need to keep a close eye on real costs in city Attorney fees as the city will be forced to represent him in this case. We will update this information as we receive it.
Public relations businessman sues Lee's Summit >>