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ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron filed a lawsuit on Tuesday regarding the authorities of the mayor and the town council.

At the center of the lawsuit is Styron’s attempt to demote the chief of the Zionsville Fire Department James Vangorder. 

Any demotion of an official in Zionsville must have the approval of the town council.

On Monday, the Zionsville Town Council held an official vote on the matter and in a unanimous decision, declined to demote Vangorder. However after the meeting, Mayor Styron effectively demoted the chief.

Now Styron is seeking judicial determination on the roles of the mayor versus that of the town council within the Zionsville Reorganization Resolution 2014-11. 

“There is a fundamental disagreement between the executive branch and the legislative branch in Zionsville over the authority of the mayor to decide who should lead a Town department,” said Mayor Styron.

“I believe the result of this legal action will provide clarity to my administration and to all future mayors of Zionsville about whether or not a mayor has the ability to select their own leadership team to run town departments. There must be no ambiguity.”

Vangorder was put on administrative leave with pay and was told he would be given “new responsibilities” on March 22.

The council’s president wrote a letter to Mayor Styron asking her to reverse her decision to demote Vangorder and also expressed legal options would be explored if she did not.

Town Council president Josh Garrett also released a statement to CBS4:

“I’m disappointed the Mayor is choosing to use taxpayer dollars to file a lawsuit which challenges the voter-approved reorganization.  Our reorganization serves as the framework for our entire government.  I find it confusing she is challenging the very document that allowed Zionsville to have a Mayor.”