January 23, 2013 - Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors Secretary Ed Ryan filed suit this week against Michael Klund and the county Board of Election Commissioners that seeks to have Klund removed from the April 2 election ballot.
Klund, of Lemay, filed Jan. 15 to challenge Ryan, of Concord, in the April election for a Board of Directors seat. Ryan, first elected in April 2007, is seeking a second six-year term on the fire board.
In the lawsuit, filed Monday, Ryan contends Klund is not qualified to be a candidate in the April election because "upon information and belief, defendant Klund has not paid his St. Louis County personal property taxes for the year 2012, which were due on or before Dec. 31, 2012."
Klund had owed $295.15 — $283.69 in personal property tax, $5.67 in interest and $5.79 in penalties — for 2012, according to the county Department of Revenue's website. The $295.15 was paid Monday, according to the website.
Since 2002, according to the department's website, Klund has paid his personal property taxes on time twice — in 2005 and 2006.
Ryan's lawsuit cites Missouri Statute 115.526.1, which "authorizes plaintiff to challenge the declaration of candidacy and qualifications of defendant Klund to seek or hold the office of district director or to appear on the ballot for such office."
The lawsuit also cites Missouri Statute 115.342, which states, "Any person who files as a candidate for election to a public office shall be disqualified from participation in the election for which the candidate has filed (if) such person is delinquent in the payment of any ... personal property taxes.
"Similarly, Section 71.005 RSMo. provides that '(n)o person shall be a candidate for municipal office unless such person complies with the provisions of Section 115.346, regarding payment of municipal taxes or user fees.'"
Ryan's lawsuit asks:
• "That plaintiff be allowed to show proof to the court that defendant Klund is not qualified to be a candidate for or to serve as a director of the Mehlville Fire Protection District under Sections 115.346 and 71.005 RSMo."
• "That the court order the appointment of a special process server and the immediate issuance for service of this petition upon defendant Klund."
• "That the court enter an order scheduling a hearing and permitting plaintiff to produce his proof as to the personal property tax status of defendant Klund and his qualifications to hold office."
• "That this court enter an order removing candidate Michael Klund from the ballot for April 2, 2013."
• "That the court award plaintiff Ryan his costs and reasonable attorney fees for the prosecution of this action ..."
Ryan is represented by attorney Mathew Hoffman, who also serves as legal counsel for the fire district.
Klund told the Call Monday he had not seen the lawsuit.
"I have to look into it. I don't know what's going on with that," he said. "... I have no idea what they would be talking about. I have to see what's going on."
Shortly after Klund's conversation with the Call, the county Department of Revenue's website showed his personal property taxes for 2012 had been paid.