Lebanon City Councilor Kathy Warmath, Ward 6, announced Wednesday that she would be resigning from her council seat after serving for 23 years. The news follows an incident on Tuesday night, in which Warmath, after attending the regularly scheduled Council Meeting, was arrested in the Lebanon City Hall parking lot for alleged public drunkenness, according to statements from Lebanon Police and the Wilson County Jail.
Attorney Jack Lowery, who is representing Warmath, hosted a press conference at his office on the Lebanon Public Square at 1 p.m. Wednesday - where he made the announcement on Warmath's behalf.
In a statement from Warmath, Lowery read that she had chosen to resign because of a medical condition. Warmath stated that on "February 2, 2016, prior to my attendance at the council meeting, I took some prescription medication for my medical condition as directed by my doctor. Unfortunately, I had an abnormal reaction to the medication. Because of this I find it necessary to apologize to my fellow council members, the people of my district, and the people of the City of Lebanon."
Warmath continued that her medical condition - which Lowery elaborated was a severe back condition - has been worsening for some time. "For the record on the occasion of February 2, 2016, I was not intoxicated, and any abnormal behavior was the direct result of the medication that was prescribed and directed by my doctor," her statement said.
Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead said he was notified about Warmath's resignation from her attorney via phone Wednesday afternoon.
"It's an unfortunate event, for sure," Craighead said. "I want to say most of all that I hope she gets the help she needs."
"But our city government will move forward."
Craighead said that Warmath's health has been an increasing concern over time. "And last night it got worse."
He added that her attendance at regular council and special called meetings had been poor over the past several months. Often, she would be driven to meetings, but last night, she drove herself to the Lebanon City Council meeting.
Craighead said he is working with City Attorney Andy Wright on how the city will appoint her replacement in Ward 6.
"This is new territory for me, so we are working to figure out process of appointing someone to take her spot."
"But this isn't what I was expecting to hear today, that's for sure."
Lowery plans to request that the pending misdemeanor be dismissed.
"I don't think it's going to be a conviction. I don't think that's going to be a problem. This lady has taken a step," he said. "She's been on council for 23 years. This is a major decision for her to make about stepping down. It has nothing to do with being intoxicated. It has to do with the fact that she has a serious medical problem."
Lowery added that he is not worried about the charge and that Warmath was released from the jail on her own recognizance.
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