Mayor of Bowling Green resigns from office

The City of Bowling Green, Missouri has a new leader in the realm, at least for the time being.

That's because Mayor David Koester resigned this Tuesday morning.

His resignation comes after weeks of controversy surrounding a traffic stop that involved alcohol.

KHQA's Rajah Maples talked with Acting Mayor Jim Moore Tuesday afternoon about what's next for the city and the investigation.

Dozens were expected to turn out to Bowling Green's city hall for a special meeting Tuesday evening. That's when aldermen were expected to discuss and decide on whether Koester should be removed from office. But that meeting was cancelled after Koester resigned Tuesday morning. The president of the board of aldermen, Jim Moore, was sworn into office shortly afterward.

Moore said, "the overall board is ready to move on. This is something that's been very time consuming and distracting. We need to move on with business."

But the situation isn't behind Bowling Green just yet. The city administrator has called for an outside investigation of Koester's traffic stop. An officer pulled him over for speeding on May 30th. The mayor admitted to the officer that he had had a couple of beers. According to a police report, Koester had open liquor in his vehicle at the time of the stop. Rather than ticketing Koester, the officer issued him a warning and told him to call someone to pick him up. Some residents aren't happy about that.

Desiree Richardson said, "I think it's very hypocritical for them to not even take him in when they're supposed to be teaching teenagers not to be drinking and driving. For somebody of his standard, he should've known better. The cops should've done something about it."

Rashanda McClure said, "I think it's ridiculous, because if it had been me that had been pulled over drinking and driving, I would've been the first one to go to jail. I really don't think it's fair."

Do you feel you were drunk that night?

Koester said, "I wish I would've gone downtown and blown in the thing, and I could've proven that I wasn't intoxicated."

KHQA spoke with Koester earlier Tuesday evening.

He told KHQA he felt he would not have been able to serve the citizens of Bowling Green fairly with all of the negative publicity for something he says has no proof.

Thus, he thought it was best for the city if he resigned.

Another special meeting has been scheduled to officially appoint an interim mayor to serve until April of next year.

Moore told me he's willing to remain as interim mayor as long as the board agrees to it.

Voters will have an opportunity to elect a new mayor next April.