AMBOY – Alderwoman Deanne Hoy on Monday accused Mayor Tom Nauman of striking her twice in the arm during a confrontation outside a local restaurant earlier this month.
She also called for the mayor to resign.
"No one in the audience would let a family member be treated that way," said Hoy, who was two sitting seats from the mayor. "He needs to be removed."
Hoy said she wouldn't provide any more details about the confrontation because it is being investigated by the Lee County Sheriff's Department.
The issue surfaced at the monthly meeting of the Amboy City Council. More than 100 people attended, far more than usual.
Nauman didn't respond to the accusation that he struck Hoy, but discussed water issues she raised that apparently led to the confrontation.
Resident Sue Englund spoke up during the meeting, noting Nauman's lack of a response.
"You wouldn't have done that to one of these guys," Englund told Nauman, referring to the other council members, all of whom are men. "It should never have happened."
"That's your opinion," Nauman shot back.
"Wow!" Englund responded.
Former Mayor Hank Gerdes said Hoy is the "most honest person I've dealt with."
"It took a lot of guts to stand up to the mayor," he said. "She knows what she is doing. Believe me, we have locked horns, but I'm 100 percent behind Deanne Hoy."
About half of the audience applauded.
Over the past couple of months, frozen water lines have affected six places in town. The residents said the mayor told them they would have to wait until the spring thaw for water service again. On Monday, Nauman again denied he said that.
He said he told those affected that the city didn't have one piece of equipment to handle the problems.
One of the affected places was The Beef Hut restaurant, which went without water for a month. That's where the confrontation apparently took place.
"It's been the coldest winter in 19 years," Nauman told the audience, adding that the city advised residents to let their faucets drip.
Hoy said the frozen line problems had been going on for weeks before she found out about it. A resident approached her about the situation.
Hoy then got together with a couple of council members and employees. They reached out to a plumbing company, which figured out the problems were on the city's side of the system, she said.
Most of the issues were then corrected relatively quickly, she said.
"Here [the residents] were sitting for 2 weeks without water, and they were getting no cooperation from the city of Amboy," Hoy said. "The responsibility is the mayor's."
One of the council members, Daryl Stuckemeyer, differed with her timeline. And Nauman said a plan was already in the works before he was out of the picture for a week because of shoulder surgery.
A former alderman, Don Schamberger, told the council to work together, calling the recent controversies an embarrassment for the town.
"It's time for you to come forward and put aside your personal vendettas," he said.
After the meeting, Nauman declined to comment on Hoy's accusation.