Christopher Perricone is out as Mineral Wells' mayor on the basis he is deemed no longer qualified to hold the office under the city's charter.
Perricone, a Republican candidate for Texas House District 60, is in arrears on property taxes on his residence and at least one other property in the city.
A special council session has been called for 2 p.m. Friday to discuss filling the mayor's vacancy based on the "result of immediate forfeiture." His two-year term ends in May.
Friday's agenda item says the mayor is no longer qualified to hold the office based on Article III, Sec. 22 of the city charter related to qualifications to serve as a council member, which states:
"The mayor and six councilmen shall each be a citizen of the United States of America and a qualified taxpaying voter of the State of Texas; shall have resided for at least one year next preceding the election at which they are candidates within the corporate limits of Mineral Wells; and shall not be in arrears in the payment of any taxes or other liability due the city or be disqualified by reason of any provision of any other section of this Charter. A member of the council ceasing to possess any of the qualifications specified in this section or any other section of this Charter, or convicted of a felony while in office, shall immediately forfeit his office."
The 2019 tax filing deadline was Jan. 31. According to the Palo Pinto County Tax Office, Perricone currently owes $3,477 in property taxes on his home on Alamo Street, including $853.63 owed the city. A house in his name on S.E. 13th Street shows $628.42 in taxes owed, including $139.28 owed the city.
The charter states council can fill the mayor's vacancy with any resident of the city who meets the qualifications of Sec. 22.
The only person to file for the seat on the May 2 ballot is At-Large Councilwoman Regan Johnson. The filing deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.
The Index has calls into Perricone and City Manager Randy Criswell seeking comment.
While running as one of four Republican candidates for the Texas House District Seat, Perricone is currently going through a divorce. He and his wife had a scheduled hearing regarding a temporary restraining order Tuesday afternoon in the 29th State District Court in Palo Pinto.
Perricone is under felony indictment for aggravated perjury related to a case involving American Precision Ammunition, whose president Matt Campbell is facing a similar charge. Perricone and Campbell each have civil suits filed in federal court pending against the city.
Last year, a citizen-led petition effort to remove Perricone from office fell short of receiving the required number of signatures.
In a story published Sunday in the Abilene Reporter-News, Perricone said he is focusing his Texas House campaign on property taxes, stating he believes "the government's collection is unconstitutional."
"Texans already have the creative ideas and wise stewardship principles available to eliminate property taxes and I will advocate for that to become a reality," Perricone said in an email reportedly sent to the newspaper.