Judge rules Peru mayor unable to serve after heart attack

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PERU — A Miami County judge ruled Wednesday that Peru’s mayor was unable to hold public office after suffering a heart attack last month.

The post of mayor – which until today was held by Miles Hewitt – will be filled on an interim basis by the president of the city council of Peru, Pro Tempe Patricia Russell, according to a court order.

“Due to certain ongoing health issues, Mayor Hewitt is currently unable to perform the powers and duties of the office of Mayor of the City of Peru,” the order reads.

The decision follows a Tuesday petition by Russell asking Judge Timothy Spahr to appoint her as acting mayor due to Hewitt’s medical condition.

The mayor’s office said in a public Facebook post earlier this month that Hewitt suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized on April 29.

Under Indiana’s code, Russell will serve as interim mayor until six months from Wednesday, according to the court order.

The order states that Hewitt can file a written statement if he believes he is able to serve again. If he does, a court hearing must be held within 48 hours to decide whether he can resume his duties.

“Because there is no deputy mayor in the city of Peru, according to Indiana code, the next city official in succession is the president of the common council of Peru pro tempore. Councilor Russell makes it clear that she is fulfilling her obligation to the citizens of Peru, to provide continuity during this time of uncertainty,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.

The mayor’s office said the move was necessary due to “urgent paperwork” and other business.

“Councillor Russell wishes Mayor Hewitt a speedy recovery and wishes everyone keeps her thoughts and prayers with him and his family. As soon as he recovers, Acting Mayor Russell will be happy to return the city to him. “wrote the mayor’s office.

Hewitt was elected in 2019 and took office on January 1, 2020.

WRTV has reached out to Russell and Hewitt for comment.

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