We were shocked to learn today of the arrest of Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Gary Caplinger on charges related to child pornography. The case did not originate with the Allen Police Department.
Councilmember Caplinger was first elected to the Allen City Council in 2005 and has served as mayor pro tem since 2012. Due to term limits, he is currently serving his final term that expires in May 2021.
Because councilmembers are elected by a majority vote of the citizens, they cannot be fired or terminated in the same manner as city staff. The Allen City Charter outlines all aspects of city governance, including those pertaining to elected officials. Resignation, recall, and automatic removal of an elected councilmember are allowed under specific circumstances.
- Resignation: A councilmember can choose to resign.
- Recall: Citizens can initiate a recall election as outlined in the charter.
- Automatic removal: Removal is automatic if a councilmember is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. The charter does not include a provision to remove a councilmember based on an arrest or indictment.
Councilmember Caplinger also holds the Council appointed position of Mayor Pro Tem. This title can be removed by majority vote of Allen City Council. The Council will take action regarding Councilmember Caplinger’s position as Mayor Pro Tem at the next city council meeting on February 23
This story was updated at 4:54 p.m. on Feb. 12 with additional information on the City Charter.