Holyoke City Councilor

Western Mass News Photo

HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Holyoke City Councilor Mike Sullivan said in a statement Tuesday he is filing an order that would allow residents of the city to recall Mayor Alex Morse.

The order, he said, will be co-sponsored by councilors Linda Vacon, David Bartley, and Howard Greaney Jr.

The order would allow the citizens of Holyoke to launch a recall petition for a ballot question that could remove Morse from office, according to the statement.

This follows allegations against Morse for "inappropriate behavior" with college students. UMass Amherst is investigating the situation as Morse was an adjunct professor from fall 2014 to fall 2019. Morse made a statement Sunday night stating, "I want to be very clear about this. I have never, in my entire life, had a non-consensual sexual encounter with anyone. I have never used my position of power as mayor and UMass lecturer for romantic or sexual gain, or take advantage of any students."

Sullivan’s statement says:

"Despite the charges from survivors, our 31-year-old mayor continues to refuse to resign over his acknowledged use of his power and position as mayor and candidate for Congress to engage in sexual activities with teenagers on college campuses. Because of his abhorrent behavior, our Mayor has now been banned from multiple college campus groups across New England, and is being investigated by the administration at the University of Mass. Morse continues to ignore a growing chorus of calls for his resignation. This order will allow the citizens of Holyoke to decide if Alex Morse should be removed as Mayor after embarrassing us across the Commonwealth. Morse has been absent from City Hall while on the city's payroll for much of the past 12 months, while taking time to run for Congress. Neglecting his job as Mayor of Holyoke while running for Congress has been negligent enough. Now admitting he has been spending his time using his position and power to engage in sexual activities with teenagers at the University of Mass simply disqualifies him to continue as our Mayor, and with his refusal to resign as Mayor, the Council will take up an order to authorize his recall."

Morse provided a statement to Western Mass News on Tuesday night following Sullivan's announcement. 

Morse said: 

"This is nothing but a sad, ignorant, and homophobic attack by city councilors who have long fought against efforts to make Holyoke a welcoming community for all. Their slanderous language is only outmatched in ignorance by the fact that the city charter does not have provisions for a recall."

Copyright 2020.  Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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(1) comment


How about another petition to restore the mayor's term to two years? Clearly, the voters made a big mistake in making the top position in the city less accountable to the people, and that needs to be corrected.

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