What we learned about Prairie Village City Councilor David Morrison during last week’s trial

David Morrison was on trial last week to determine if he remains on the Prairie Village City Council.
David Morrison, shown listening as the council heard the charges against him last fall, was on trial last week to determine if he remains on the Prairie Village City Council.

David Morrison and the rest of the Prairie Village City Council await a ruling from Judge David Hauber this week that will decide if Morrison remains on the council. After a three-day trial last week an advisory jury found misconduct and neglect of duty on Morrison’s part.

The multiple witnesses produced hours of testimony, some of it perhaps not as central to the jury finding, though interesting nonetheless. In no certain order, we share some of those exchanges:

  • Testifying about his education, Morrison said he had gone to summer programs at Yale and the London School of Economics. In cross-examination, the assistant district attorney worked on making it clear Yale was just a summer program, and that Morrison was not a Yale student. Morrison attended the University of Kansas.
  • In his bio recitation, Morrison said he works as a call center supervisor at Celebrity China and Cookware in Lenexa and organizes bridal shows for them. He told the court he once had his own mortgage company, and has volunteered extensively, including with Boy Scouts and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
  • Morrison told the court he has lived at his parents’ home most of his adult life.
  • Morrison was the only defense witness. On cross-examination, prosecutors focused on making clear to the jury that Morrison’s council president position sprang more from the tradition of longest-serving councilor than any merit election by the council.
  • Morrison testified “I never imagined they (the council) were going to oust me. I thought censure was appropriate.” He was talking about the unanimous council vote that led to the trial.
  • Describing his service on the council, Morrison said, “I am the voice of the people.” As an example, he pointed to his opposition to proposed Meadowbrook Country Club development a few years ago, saying he wanted it to be a park. Of his predecessor, Nancy Wallerstein, he said, “I didn’t like her stand on issues,” which prompted him to run for the first of his two terms.
  • During the weekend he let homeless friend Kelley Malone stay in Prairie Village City Hall, Morrison took him to a Kansas City Chiefs game. In 2011, during another hard time for Malone, Morrison bought him new clothes at Brooks Brothers so Malone could interview for jobs.
  • Morrison said city councilors don’t get paid, but receive stipends for communication costs, which he refuses. A free pool pass is the only benefit from the city that he uses, he said.

Judge Hauber’s ruling is expected sometime this week.