The American Party is going to kick Lawrence Rey Topham out of its ranks for being, what leaders call, a troublemaker.
Topham has been a thorn in the side of the party this year. Topham ran for the party's gubernatorial nomination, challenging Arly Pedersen, American Party national chairman. When the party asked delegates to pay a $5 fee at its Salt Lake County convention before they could vote, Topham challenged the action. He won, forcing party officials to hold another county convention before their state convention.Topham lost the nomination to Pedersen in the convention but has challenged that decision as well. Several party leaders vilified Topham in their state convention speeches.
The party's executive committee notified Topham this week that it will hold an impeachment hearing, which Topham can attend with his attorney, to answer the official charges of "conduct of sufficiently serious nature leading to adverse publicity" and "indication of deliberately causing contention."
While Topham will get a hearing, the letter notifying him of his impeachment says the executive committee, whose 20 members signed the letter, already believes there is "more than sufficient evidence that you are in blatant violations of the cited (impeachment) sections."
If impeached, and that appears certain, Topham can be barred from participation in any party meeting, denied a vote in any party function and removed from any party office he holds.
Executive committee members also told Topham that they'd make the impeachment known to any future party leaders so they would know of "your public statements to destroy the American Party."
Party officials said this is the second time someone has been removed from the party. Conservative Betty Bates was removed about 10 years ago for "disruptive" action, they said.