Following a closed door session Monday afternoon, the council emerged with a new proposal to send to Ariemma’s Dawson County-based lawyer Joey Homans.
“I make a motion that we grant the mayor the authority to present the proposed settlement agreement,” said council member Gerald Lord.
It was nearly 17 months ago that Lord made the initial motion to begin the process to remove Ariemma from office after he was accused of threatening the employment of city code enforcement officer Tim Martin and then expressing retaliatory plans for City Manager Bill Lewis during a resulting investigation.
Ariemma has denied all allegations.
The city’s removal process has been challenged twice in court by Ariemma and both times found to be unconstitutional.
Earlier this month, the city voted to appeal the latest decision by retired Judge Hugh Stone.
In the meantime, Ariemma’s legal bills continued to pile up to a reported $32,000.
It was a total that he told The Nugget he was willing to pay Thursday afternoon as his fellow council members discussed his case behind closed doors.
Ariemma had previously asked the council to cover $10,000 of the fees.
On Monday, the new settlement proposal was approved by everyone but Ariemma, who chose not to vote.
“Could Johnny vote on this one?” said Council member Ralph Prescott after the vote was cast.
“I did not vote,” said Ariemma.
“You could,” he said.
“I did not vote,” repeated Ariemma.
The settlement agreement was signed and passed on to Homans.
A response was not filed by press time Tuesday.