In what some have described as a "reverse-Matlock" manuever, Councilman Tim Woerther, who was trying argue that he was not under investigation, ended up confirming that he is.
The controversy started when Councilman Woerther attempted to change the minutes from the last meeting. He attempted to enter lengthy statements regarding his actions that are part of an ongoing investigation that he allegedly removed a public document from City Hall and disposed of it. Councilman Taylor opposed Woerther's motion by requiring that his statements be verified by the City Attorney and Clerk.
This precipitated a debate which continued sporadically during the entire meeting. Councilmen Taylor and Manton maintained that based upon a letter to the Council from the co-interim administrators the police were looking into the matter.
Surprisingly, Councilman Woerther would insist otherwise. Despite the letter, both he and his wife Kelley ardently maintained there was no such inquiry. Rules are famously important to both Councilman Woerther and his wife. Mrs. Woerther has been part of an anti-mayor team that has filed nearly $30,000 in failed ethics complaints.
Notably, Mrs. Woerther even suggested that a councilman could be censured for attempts at innocent humor or levity. After much debate, he called forth the head of the Wildwood police force, Captain Mundel for a Matlock-type exchange.
Calling the captain forward, Woerther stated, "for everyone’s benefit. Captain Mundel... I’m sorry sir I’m gonna have to ask you to come forward. "
After the captain walked from the back of the room and reached the podium, Woerther explained to his audience, "and for everyone’s benefit both the audience as well as the Council, Captain Mundel and I have not seen each other since last council meeting." The captain nods slightly in affirmation.
His dramatic reveal continued, "and certainly not interacted by any electronic communication or otherwise."
“So, I’m going to ask you the question. Where do you stand on this, sir?"
The Captain asked, "Is this on?” (referring to the microphone).
The Captain leaned forward and stated, "I will not comment on any investigation currently underway.”
Woerther, obviously a bit deflated said, "Thank you, I appreciate that.”
The Captain asked Woerther, "Anything else?"
The Captain returned to his seat.
No one knows if Councilman Woerther will ultimately be charged for a crime when the police finish the investigation that we now know is ongoing. But even if he isn't, the Councilman may not be out of the woods, as the incident may have been comedic enough to invite censure. At least if his wife has anything to say about it.
Those interested may view the exchange on the city's livestream. The exchange starts at 2:40:36.
Councilman Woerther has declined comment for this post.