A labor judge soon ruled that the charges against Hoffmann were groundless, and he was reinstated to the Liberty police force with back pay. But unlike before, Hoffmann was now relegated to an office job. "The only reason anyone knows about this today is because I later filed a suit against the city," says Hoffmann.

The lawsuit, which made its way to the court of appeals, argued that his civil rights had been trampled in his firing and demotion. In June 1990, the appellate court affirmed a lower court's decision that Hoffmann's civil rights had not been violated.

Diana Hoffmann believes her husband's forthright demeanor is one of his greatest attributes. "I have never asked him to rein it in," says Diana. "It was a bit irritating there in Liberty for a while when the legal bills were reaching five figures. But right is right. I think the thing with John is, people aren't used to someone calling them out and confronting them."

Photography: Jennifer Silverberg; Sherrif illustration: Kenn Minter; Photoshop: Tom Carlson
Hoffmann at rest: In his six-month tenure, the busy alderman has taken aim at deer, cell phones and a convicted drug dealer.
Jennifer Silverberg
Hoffmann at rest: In his six-month tenure, the busy alderman has taken aim at deer, cell phones and a convicted drug dealer.

Particularly amusing, says Diana, is the way city officials have responded to her husband. "They don't want to be associated with him at all, which I find interesting."

Hoffmann contends that the so-called "concerned parties of Town & Country" can bring up whatever they want about his past. "I have nothing to hide," he says.

On August 25, 2008, after months of legal wrangling, the board of aldermen finally voted on Marchant-Calsyn's request to install a driveway gate. Leading the charge to deny the permit was Hoffmann, who claimed that the gate posed a safety concern. Vehicles stopped by the gate, he argued, would have to back out of the driveway onto heavily traveled Topping Road.

For once, Hoffmann's colleagues on the board saw things his way. The permit was denied by a vote of 7 to 1.

The issue may have ended there had Marchant-Calsyn not threatened to sue the city to get his gate approved. At a work session an hour before the board's September 22 meeting, Mayor Jon Dalton asked the aldermen to reconsider the gate application so as to avoid costly litigation.

Hoffmann responded to the mayor's suggestion with a boisterous "nay" vote. Everyone else on the board agreed with Dalton. The gate will now get a new hearing at the board's October 27 meeting.

For Hoffmann, the reversal is just another reason why he's now considering a run for mayor in next spring's election. Town & Country, he says, needs a leader who will stand up for the little guy and not back away from bullies — be they elected officials or convicted felons.

"They say I'm a shit disturber," says Hoffmann. "But I like to think that when I pick a fight it's only in defense of truth, justice and the American way."

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