The Arnold Historical Society has voted to make the resignation of its new president immediate.
Mike Evans, who took over as president in January, submitted an email to the group's officers in mid-February stating that he would be resigning effective May 1. That's when his doctorate courses will switch to Monday evenings - the same night the society meets each week.
On Monday night, the group voted to make the resignation immediate, said Bernie Wilde, the society's treasurer. "He has personal issues that prevent him serving as president," she said.
Wilde said one of the issues was the fact that Evans has a bankruptcy on his record, which prevents him from signing "any legal documents on behalf of the society." Wilde said she learned of the bankruptcy in a legal publication called The Countian.
Patch called Evans Tuesday afternoon. No one from the society had contacted him about the decision.
Evans said the group's grounds for making the resignation effective immediately "are completely erroneous."
He said CASENET is not up-to-date and the charges from 2010 were thrown out and removed from his record. (See attached letter from the Missouri Department of Revenue submitted to Patch by Evans.)
As for the bankruptcy, he said he tried to refinance his house with a company he probably shouldn't have used and was simply trying to reorganize his debt.
Evans has alleged Ward 1 Councilwoman Doris Borgelt has tried to ruin his reputation by actively promoting his bankruptcy in emails to her supporters and members of the society. At last week's council meeting, he told Borgelt during the public portion stop harassing him. In an email, Borgelt denied any wrongdoing in the matter.
See related story: Mike Evans to Doris Borgelt: Knock. It. Off.
Evans claims Borgelt started harassing him after he submitted a Sunshine Law Request to the society to find out who was making the mortgage payments on its building.
"I asked members of the society, and I was told it was none of my business who was mysteriously making the payments," he said. "I didn't want to be in a position years from now where someone would say, 'Something was going on. Why didn't you do anything about it?'"
Wilde said an anonymous donor with a foundation that has an education component is making the mortgage payments and has been for 15 months. She said she ignored the Sunshine request because the society is non-profit and not subject to those types of requests.
"The real problem was when he (Evans) showed up at our Feb. 15 meeting with an Arnold police officer and and Arnold police investigator," she said. "The only way the officers would leave is if we each gave them our names, birthdates and addresses. We later received an email saying the investigator was not investigating the society."
Evans said he requested the officer and the investigator because he had been "cornered" by two members at a previous meeting and he was concerned for his safety. He would not name the members.
Evans said the entire situation has been blown completely out of proportion. He added that he feels like a tremendous weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
"I'm happy to have served the short time I did, and hope the society continues to grow and prosper," Evans said.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article stated that Evans submitted his letter of resignation on Monday. It has been updated to reflect the fact the letter was emailed in mid-February.