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July 24. 2012 11:49PM

Ouellette's arrest: Alderman should step down

While accusations are easy to make, and proving guilt does not always follow, it is sadly clear that the arrest of Ward 11 Alderman Russell P. Ouellette will be an ongoing distraction for some time to come.

It will be a distraction for Ouellette, and for the city and his constituents. The charges are serious — serious enough for the police department to arrest Ouellette and serious enough for the county attorney to support that action. It will be impossible for Ouellette to devote adequate time and attention to his constitutents’ interests and to the city’s needs.

As Mayor Ted Gatsas said Monday in calling for Ouellette’s resignation, “As elected officials, we are leaders in our community and we should be held to higher standards.”

These are serious charges, if only misdemeanors: Two counts of sexual assault and one each of simple assault and hindering apprehension.

If Ouellette ultimately proves his innocence, there is nothing to stop him from again running for public office. Meanwhile, we hope he decides to step down.

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